Monday, June 9, 2008

Kitten Jail!

Belle and Dev continue to grow and develop. Belle wanted to play with Dev before he understood what that was all about, but now he is a play-fight freak! They both continue to use the litterbox. Amazing! They turned 5 weeks old this week. They are truly "little cats" now instead of "little dependent blobs".

Belle has started running. The first few times her back legs moved faster than her front legs, so she ended up tumbling, but now she's figured it out. She can also jump out of the suitcase we were using as a playpen! Dev is, of course, a bit behind and doesn't run, but he gets around pretty well. Both recognize Mr. A and go straight to him whenever they see him. They love to crawl on him and smoosh their noses into his face. We think they want him to clean them! So he does, using a warm washcloth.

They showed some initial interest in canned kitten food but have since turned up their noses to it. They continue with kitten formula about every four hours. The do not seem interested in plain water yet. In fact, we put a small bowl of water in their "nest" but it scared the daylights out of Dev! However, they no longer seem to need stimulation from Mr. A in order to eliminate. We'll be offering them canned kitten food more often to start the "weaning" process.

Our only concern is exercise. We received and assembled the kitten "playpen". They like it! However, we have two complaints: the shelves that come with it (as part of a "conversion" kit sold specifically for the playpen) are too wide and cause the cage to "bow" where they are inserted, and the shelves are missing screw holes. The instructions do indicate that some of the shelves might need to be drilled, but there is no mention of that in the description of the item in the catalogue. However, the benefits of this playpen outweigh those two flaws. We have a drill and we think we can modify the shelves to fit properly.

The above photo shows Belle and Dev in jail. Yes, they ALWAYS look that surprised!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The orphaned kittens are now toddling around, even showing some signs of wanting to play with each other. They gain weight every day. Dev had some apparent pain with elimination, but that seems to be subsiding. We think he was eating too fast and swallowing a lot of air, as his little abdomen was sometimes a bit hard and distended and he expelled gas. He's fine now. We still have to help him eliminate. Belle, on the other hand, whom we are pretty sure is at least a week older than Dev, eliminates on her own now. We inserted a small pan of litter in their box and she used it! That is pretty impressive for not even four weeks old! It is amazing what is hardwired into kitten brains.

We have an impromptu playpen set up for them -- it's a huge suitcase. They play around in that between meals and naps. We have ordered a nice big playpen/cage for them through one of our favorite pet vendors, Drs. Foster and Smith. They'll be able to play safely in this cage in Mr. A's office while he works, until they are old enough to be left at home during the day. He still feeds them formula every 4 hours or so. We gave them a taste of some canned kitten food and they appeared to like it, though Belle is better able to eat it, it seems, probably as she's a bit older and more developed that Dev. Dev is still primarily interested in suckling.

We did also purchase the "Conversion Kit" for the playpen, which includes the ramps and the "hammock". Once we receive the cage and use it with the kittens, we'll review it here. The base price of the cage is $139, not bad for solid construction and portability -- the cage rests on casters so can be easily moved.

We managed to snap some photographs of Dev and Belle, but Dev was always moving, so he's a bit blurry in all of them. Belle is a bit less wiggly than Dev, so she is clear - this is the best of the bunch: