We weren't going to bring these guys in. Not yet. But we'd been watching the kittens, and for some reason, the momma cat wasn't coming around. When she finally did, she didn't feed them - and they were yowling and obviously hungry! When she quickly left again, the kittens started trying to climb up the high wall after her, which was scary enough, but then they started eyeballing the ledge, with the obvious intent to commit bodily harm, all over their little fuzzy faces. I called Brad at work and told him I was worried about them. He picked up some food and litter on the way home, and we went out together to see what was up.
The kittens, by this time, had wised up and not jumped out, but momma had not come back to feed them and they were sad kitties. We'd have known if she had come in. We were making sure no-one leapt out, and the window was open. The mere sight of momma always set the kittens to mewling loudly! They were snoozing in the plants, but curious when they saw Brad. One even approached Brad. I brought out a small saucer of squished up canned food, and apparently, their hunger was more powerful than their fear of us. We decided to go ahead and bring them in. We only want two of them... it is difficult to travel with pets.. but we didn't want to leave one. Feral kittens don't have a good life. Best we try to get it a home. We had said we'd wait to this weekend, no matter what - that if these guys were gone by then, then we'd go to a shelter. But we like these kittens! Earlier, when Brian and I had been watching the kittens as they contemplated leaping to their doom after momma cat, we decided that we really didn't want to take chances!
We weren't fully prepared, but we had a plastic container to contain them. Extra beach towels for cushion. A shallow box for the litter. And, most importantly, FOOD! They chowed down a whole envelope of soft food.
The kids were thrilled, and wanted to be able to hold and pet them, but they understand the need to move slowly. After our dinner, and after the kids went to bed, we gently let the kittens out to explore. They were very scared, but we gave them a little bit more food, and some peace. They quickly found a little fort under our counter, and spent some time under there, getting used to sights and sounds. At bedtime, Brad scooped them up and put them in the box. That's when they started mewing at us! Come back! Fortunately they calmed down and slept.
Kittens in the kitten corner:
... and to think that most people would waste this spot on a dishwasher?!
By morning, they were hungry enough for more food, and because they'd made a mess of things in the box, I let them out. They immediately went under the counter again - until time to eat - they are so messy that I have to feed them a spoon at a time or they'd end up wearing more than they'd get in their tummies! We decided to let them stay out as they had showed they could use their litter box well, but it was good that they stayed hidden as we got ready and did not get underfoot, yet.. The guys left for work and school. Honor was still asleep, another day home sick, although mostly recovered (finally), so I spent some quiet time alone, on the floor, talking to them and watching them play. They were curious, but kept their distance. The kids donated some little toys and the kittens appreciate it. Here's Ninja Cat practicing her attack skills - looks like we'll be ok if we're ever invaded by giant plastic spiders.
They play together - a lot! - and even toilet time can be a team sport. The big fuzzy guy was assaulted while using the box by a sibling who decided that chewing on his ear (or something) might be entertaining. Well, this turned into a 'poo incident' - a term that I do not have to describe to any parent, but for non-parents... let's just say this is not something a kitten could clean up by himself. He was highly decorated. Even though he was scared of me, I put some warm water in the sink, and gave him a very quick bath. He ran and hid as soon as I put him down, but amazingly enough, I was able to coax him out. I had a damp paper towel and started dabbing his fur like momma cat would wash him... and he loved it! Soon enough he was on my lap trying to climb up and rub his head on my chin. Even more amazing, the whitish cat decided her brother should not get all the love, and she climbed on my lap for a bath and snuggles too. The third cat was too scared. After that, we were buddies. And that rule about not having the kids handle the cats... yea... we forgot to tell the cats! By last night, all of the cats were playing with toys, and the two brave ones would climb on anyone sitting on the floor.
The two brave cats are incredibly sunngly too. They play, eat, bathe, play some more, then snuggle. Here's a photo of the pale girl having a wash on my lap, while her brother, who had been running around like crazy, decided to stop - half on, half off my leg - and fall asleep with his head in my hand.
This morning, we fed the kitties and sat with them more. They are so much fun to watch. Eventually they tired out. I caught the scaredy cat to wash off some food - like it or not - and she wasn't too traumatized. When the two brave ones lay down on my lap to rest, the little one lay down on a towel next to Honor. Honor started petting her, and she tolerated it. After a few minutes, play time started up again, and I became an obstacle course. Slightly painful to have kittens run up and down my leg! I was sitting on the floor with my legs stretched out and I only had thin pj's on (I'm definitely changing into jeans!) but I let them romp and torture me because this was the first time that the little scaredy cat wanted any human contact (not behavior I'll encourage in future though!). Soon enough she even came up for snuggles and cuddles, and when the whitish cat decided to attack my foot, the little one defended me and kept knocking her off. We're calling her 'Ninja cat' now.
We haven't named the cats officially yet. We called them Rosy, Posie and Thorn when they were still plants. Now that they are 'picked' and are housecats, we're trying to figure out who they are and what their official names will be. The whitish, pinkish, grey cat... not sure what color to say. She's the color of cinnamon sugar.... we've been calling Spooky, for her color and the season. But it doesn't fit her. She is the smartest and sweetest, so we'll see... The big fuzzy guy we've been calling Pumpkin because he's orange and roly-poly. But I'm thinking we ought to call him Hellboy, because he's the wild child of the bunch. He's the bravest and snuggliest, and the first one into trouble! Then of course, little Ninja cat. She's the most cautious and wary, but she's also a fighter and very adventurous. We're still deciding. I'd have posted a couple videos, but our upload speed is complete garbage right now. Maybe soon!
We took them to the vet today, the Vet Zone, and they were prescribed eye drops, given flea spray and collars, and had their nails nipped. They'll get their shots next week. The vet seemed to think they were healthy looking, and he guessed that they were about 6 or 7 weeks old. The kittens were a bit nervous when we opened their box, but the vet poured in some free sample kibble and it was pure kitten crack... good stuff! Yes, we bought some on the way out. Better for them anyway as all we've had to give them was adult food. We also picked up some jingle balls and a brush. They had some complaining to do when we got home, but are doing fine now. They got tons of pets, two curled up in their nest under the counter, and Pumpkin is asleep on Honor's lap on the couch.