Ninja Kitten!

strayKittens01

Penny and the kittens (sounds like a band name!) settled into the house quickly. We took them to the vet for their first checkup and they were all pretty healthy – two kittens had an eye infection, but that was easily fixed with some ointment. Penny was much more underweight than I realised – she weighed around 5lbs! It takes a lot of work to feed 5 kittens! Increasing her food, we got her to slowly gain weight while she was still feeding the kittens. And now she’s a healthy 9lbs.

Penny at 5lbs, and 8lbs

Penny at 5lbs, and 8lbs

Jasper loved having the kittens at home – they were his little fuzz-buddies! He got a bit nervous when they all ran around though, so he just sat or lay down and let them do their thing while he wagged his tail at them hehe.

Best friends!

Best friends!

Penny and Jasper became instant best friends. I’ve never seen a dog and cat be as close as these two are!

No, really. BEST friends!

No, really. BEST friends!

We gave the kittens some “placeholder names”:

Podgy : he ate the most food, opened his eyes first, and was by far the healthiest.

Noisy : she was a drama queen from day one.

Tiger : her markings look like grey and black tiger stripes.

Greyscale : he’s all different shades of grey…and we’re geeks hehe.

Crusty Face : she was the runt of the litter and had an infection in both eyes – which cleared up with ointment but the name stuck.

They all loved to play – Crusty Face never wanted to stop! Penny taught them all how to play and pounce on each other – she actually called to them to get them to see and learn different things: playing under the cupboard, hiding behind a box, how to climb onto chairs, and other cute things. Some of them were more stealth at pouncing than others 😉

So we fostered the kittens until they were 13 weeks old, and then they moved to the main foster lady to be spayed/neutered and then…*drum roll*…were all adopted to lovely forever homes! I miss their cute little fuzzy selves, but I’m so happy they all got to have wonderful, loving families – something that wouldn’t have happened in the wild.

Penny told us she liked living here very much, so we kept her as the newest furry addition to our family. She was spayed a few weeks after the kittens left, and as yet doesn’t want to go outside. I think she’s worried we might leave her out there – poor thing! But that’s ok, she can be inside the house as much as she likes 🙂  I worked on getting her to lie on my lap, and she will now (purring too!)…for about a minute and then she’s off to play with a toy hehe – she’s only 1 year old, she still has kitten brain herself!

Itty Bitty Kitties!

Warning: this post contains a cuteness overload!

Two weeks before we moved out of our apartment, we discovered a stray cat gave birth to 5 kittens on our neighbour’s patio! We only noticed them by chance, as we were walking Jasper, and neither of us had any idea what to do. But we knew we needed to help in some way.

Protecting her kittens

Protecting her kittens

The apartments wouldn’t let us bring them inside, so we talked to our neighbour and she was happy for them to stay on her patio – which was sheltered with bushes – and we took a box out to them with a nice blanket inside to keep the kittens warm. They were about 1 week old, and adorable!

Itty Bitty Kitties

Itty Bitty Kitties

Box of cuteness!

Box of cuteness!

The Mom-cat ran off when we went near them, and we just had to hope she would come back after we’d put the kittens in the box (on it’s side, so they could wiggle in and out easily).

She did come back 🙂

So from then on we fed the Mom, to help fatten her up and keep the nutrients flowing to the kittens. And kept watch over them all as much as she would let us.  We worked on gaining her trust, which was slow going! And decided she needed a name. After a bit of thinking, the name Penny came to mind, and seemed a perfect fit for her 🙂

For a while I stood the other side of the hedge after I put the food down for Penny, and just talked to her while she ate. Saying her name, and “good girl”, and any random things that came to mind. Then after a week of that, I started standing the same side of the hedge as she ate, then worked on moving the food closer to me and sitting down with her.

I don't look silly at all!

I don’t look silly at all!

Eventually she let us pet her while she ate, and she let us pick up the kittens without running away or hissing at us. Awesome progress!

We also walked Jasper past the patio twice a day and stopped with him far enough away to not be a threat, but close enough so Penny could see him when she ate her dinner and get used to him being around.

All of the local no-kill shelters were full, so we were stuck with what to do long term. I did a lot of googling and found two great local places – one which did a spay-and-release program (which we kept as a back-up plan), and the other is a local foster group. The foster group was full, but the lady who runs it said she would be able to pay for the Mom and kittens to be checked by a vet, get their vaccinations, etc if I could foster them until they were old enough to be adopted. Which was such a great outcome for 5 kittens and a super-skinny stray who probably wouldn’t have made it otherwise! We made a plan that if we could catch her when we moved, we would take them all to the vet a few days later.

Omnomnom!

Omnomnom!

The day we closed on our new house there was a huge thunderstorm, and the kittens and Penny got soaked with rain! So they gained a box-upgrade for the next few days, until we moved everything into the house and could then try and move them all with us. If she would let us catch her.

Box upgrade

Box upgrade

We bought a small wire dog crate, and placed it next to the box for a while before we even tried to put the kittens or Penny in there. She was a little wary but was happy to sniff it, and by this point she would let us stroke her even without food.

We carefully put the kittens in the crate, and Penny was watching, then we stroked her and gently put her in the crate too. As soon as the door was shut she went wide-eyed and meowed! But she had the kittens with her so she was fairly calm as we drove to the new house – which was thankfully not very far away!

The move went well, and they all got settled into our new laundry room for their new adventure of living inside! (And going to the vet…shhh!)

New home

New home

The adventure continues – new posts coming soon!