Sunday, May 25, 2008

Da Babies

The kittens are doing well. They are gaining weight (in grams) each day. Both have opened their eyes and are now trying to walk. They were approximately three weeks old on Thursday. They have names now: we called the female calico "Cali" for a while, and it made Mr. A think of Kahli, the consort of Shiva. He suggested Shiva as a name for the black and white male, but I felt it a bit too pompous, so he then suggested Dev, short for Deva, which means "[male] deity" in Sanskrit. It is pronounced "Dave". I have never had a cat named Dev - pronounced - "Dave", so why not? As for the female calico, Mr. A noticed that she has a black spot right where her belly button would be, so he thought of Belle (pronounced "bell", of course). I told him that he had better be certain about naming her that, because it is likely that one or both of us will eventually call her "Belle-y" (pronounced "belly"). We call Ivan "Ivy", Boo gets called "Boopy", and Jericho gets called "Jerry", so "Belle-y" is inevitable.

They get fed every 3-4 hours, now. Before long they'll be climbing out of their box. Target sells a clever contraption that is made to allow indoor cats to go outside -- it's like a cat play-pen that is sealed in mesh on all sides. Since Mr. A has to take the kittens to work to feed them, we thought this might be a good thing to have, allowing them to walk around and play without wandering off or getting into things. Once we get it and use it, we will review it here.

I haven't explained before, but I, Aelurophile, live in a small apartment during the week, and I go to our "country house" on the weekends when I can. Mr. A stays at the country house as he can telecommute and needs to be there to take care of everything (cats, gardens, house repairs, and keeping strangers, bears, rattlesnakes, cougars, and gophers away). So Ivan and Boo are with me in the apartment, and the babies Dev and Belle are at the country house with Mr. A. When I go to the country house, I take Ivan and Boo with me - they travel very well other than Boo getting car sick occasionally on mountain roads. Mr. A has not been able to come to the apartment recently as that's a bit far to travel with the babies. The apartment and country house are about five hours apart (!) by car.

I have had to go out of town on business during the week for the past couple of weeks, and will do so for the next few weeks. We have friends who live a block away who were happy to check on the cats for us when we had to go out of town, but the wife of the couple, who did most of the checking, now works out of town and does not always get home each night. We decided we needed another solution to the cat-care problem. Luckily our veterinarian has vet techs who moonlight as cat caretakers. We've been taking our cats to this vet for years, so we called the office and one of the techs agreed to check on Ivan and Boo every other day during the week (this amounts to Tuesdays and Thursdays). She will scoop their litter boxes, feed them, change their water, and even water the plants! Her 9-year old son comes with her, and he will play with the cats (if they decide to emerge from under the bed) while she is taking care of things. The fee is $25 a day. Not bad when you consider that boarding them in a cage is around the same price per day (for two cats). We save money this way, the cats are in their own home which means they will be less stressed, and our plants get watered!

By the way, our veterinarian is The Cat Hospital in Campbell, CA. Unfortunately they do not have a web site. I should speak to them about that!

Anyhow, back to the kittens - the title of this blog entry refers to what a little 2-year old named Sienna calls the kittens: "da babies". She is the granddaughter of the owners of a coffee shop that is housed in the same building as Mr. A's office, and she stops by to see the kittens a few times a day. On arrival she says, "Burble unintelligible babble DA BABIES gurgle blubber." Here's a quick clip of her saying simply, "Da babies."

video

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