Friday, November 15, 2013

Kittens - challenges and joys!

My children are all very furry and have paws. I'm also a foster mom every year for multiple litters of kittens. I think it's impossible to support a feral cat colony and not come across kittens who need to be trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and fostered.

Fostering includes socializing them. Since I work full time and have a healthy commute, it can be a challenge. And I admit I do the best I can, but it's never good enough. These kittens deserve more, and I'm 'it' with other rescue groups also at capacity and needing people to foster and socialize kittens so I do the best I can.

Someone told me a few years ago that cats decide whether or not they want to be socialized to interact with humans and I believe this. I've seen differences in kittens from the same litter - some decide to be wild fur balls while their siblings want as much human interaction as they can get. The socialization process also takes time with the conflicting reality that many people want to adopt kittens and not cats. So the clock is ticking to get them healthy and social for adoption.

Roxie, shown above and below, was trapped along the South San Francisco Bay Trail. Her two brothers were also trapped, but I still haven't been successful getting their mom which ensures more kittens in my future. This is not good for either me or the mom cat.

All three kittens were very sick when they were trapped although it wasn't apparent initially, it became evident after a couple of days and the stress from being trapped and separated from their mom. All had upper respiratory infections. A little Vicks on their noses and antibiotics got them on the road to recovery along with all they could eat kitten canned and dried cat food.

It's critical to have a vet you can work with to ask questions and get needed antibiotics when necessary. Kittens are a lot of work. They also are a joy to be around.

Happy ending - Roxie and her brothers are now living in a barn in Castro Valley with a friend who has taken in other feral and abandoned cats. All are thriving and enjoying barn life. So many mice, so little time...