I was going to give myself a pass for today's blog post, but then I decided to instead write a blog post about why I was going to give myself a pass for today's blog post.
Last week/end we took the next step in our journey as kitten fosters...we welcomed bottle babies into our home. We hadn't previously cared for kittens so young - just two weeks old - for a few reasons. First, I was nervous about their fragility. Second, I was intimidated by the feeding process, which involves feeding them by hand and with a bottle every three to four hours around the clock. And third, I already "did my time" feeding babies at night and now I like to sleep. (Incidentally, I don't sleep much because I'm a night owl whose children participate in activities - school, dance, soccer, and refereeing - that start early in the morning, and I don't sleep well because I'm an incessant worrier. I do however, like to be and stay in my bed.) But when another foster mama needed to go out of town for the weekend, I said we would give it a try.
Pugsley and Lurch arrived - in their incubator - at 9am on Thursday morning. I had watched a Kitten Lady video about bottle feeding the night before, and then sweet Abby with Six Kittens Rescue showed me what to do...and then we were on our own until Sunday afternoon.
|The kittens are the tiny black ball in the center. On the left |
and right are their warm and cuddly security stuffed animals.
Because I knew I had to feed the kittens every four hours, I had ahead of time rearranged all four days so I could be home frequently; I moved appointments around, figured out how I could stop at home in between dance rehearsals, and lined up Tom to handle soccer in Houston and a few other drop offs and pick ups that conflicted with my feeding schedule. I stayed up later and got up earlier than usual. And, I stumbled out of bed every night at 3am to warm their bottle, help them go potty, and fill their tiny little bellies.
Bottle feeding newborn kittens isn't as easy as it sounds. (Does it sound easy?) Abby made it look like a piece of cake when she showed me, but it took me a few feedings to feel comfortable and even then I didn't always feel confident. Kittens eat differently from one another, and, as I discovered, sometimes eat differently than they did at the previous meal. The entire process reminded me of trying to myself learn and teach my human babies how to both breast and bottle feed. There was a lot of trial and error, but in the end they were fed...and as is the case with human babies, fed is best.
Those four days and three nights were exhausting and crazy...exhausting because of lack of sleep but crazy because all three of our other foster kittens decided that while we had the bottle babies would be a great time to develop some messy GI issues. But it was worth it. The kids and I learned so much, and we all adored caring for those tiniest of babes. Hallie in particular worked incredibly hard, and I was reminded that without her, we simply couldn't do this. (Tom and Will are great at snuggling, cuddling, sleeping with, and loving our kittens. But Hallie and I do most of the literal and figurative work.)
I don't think we'll become regular bottle baby fosters (like I said, I don't sleep enough as it is and I slept much less than usual between Thursday and Sunday), but now that I know we can handle it, I'm ready and willing to step up/in and help the "team" when someone else needs a hand.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sleep to catch up on.
Just kidding...I don't nap. I haven't taken a nap unless I was sick since I was three years old. 😂