What’s torn you ask? Me.
I am listening to my beautiful girl as she is warbling away mouse in mouth as she wonders about trying to interest her children in learning the vital importance & merits of mouse hunting - which frankly I feel must be entirely motivated by her wish to reclaim her body since let’s face it, she herself has zero skills in hunting never having stepped foot outside in her life or seen a rodent! And, while she doesn’t help herself here by sending them very mixed messages allowing them to feed then getting up & walking away or llaying with her front firmly pushed to the floor, I just can’t see those growing lads finding the felt or fibre mice particularly appetising.
Since the ending of their group appetite of loss last week, when I was very grateful for her feeding them (albeit, her milk might actually have caused/contributed to it), I’ve focussed very much on feeding the chaps up by giving them meals as often and as they wished to eat, both night & day. This was of course to get the muscle mass & meat back on them but as Prune continues to try to discourage them from suckling (sometimes) I’ve also fed them as an aid to try to reduce their demand on her.
I’ve had her in clothing which is something I do so rarely - despite them possessing an extensive wardrobe of matching outfits. Clothing is cute, and it does help to keep their skin oils from transferring onto furniture and bedding thus helping me keep house too, but I personally find that, though they love being under cover of blankets come rain or shine (and on their heat mats all summer long too) they prefer to be as nature intended; naked with all of their delicious wrinkles on show. So, she has had clothing on, I’ve accessorised with a minky peg (other pegs are available) at the back to hold it closely to her front & at night I’ve swaddled her in a blanket (rather than just under it) all in efforts to try to prevent those crafty little muzzles digging in.
Now, these kittens - they can sleep through a nuclear invasion, yet, if one single begins to purr its like a dinner gong has been rung at 190 decibels. First 3 sets of ears prick up, then 3 heads raise out of the curled up sleep position before as one 3 bodies begin their commando crawl toward the purring sound. Prune has probably got hot and loosened the blanket or she been up to get a drink/snack/visit the loo and access is no longer blocked.
As I say, Ive been doing my best to help her, but, and here’s where I’m torn, they are with me only for just over another 2 weeks(!!!!) & their new families will NOT thank me, no matter how keen they are to welcome their kitten, if I’ve primed them to demand they get up to be fed at 3am.
They’re now pretty meaty again, so I’m thinking I need to stop trying to intervene on Pru’s behalf. Cats have been tearing kittens for thousands of years & successfully stopped their most determined kittens continuing to feed, so I must now let her deal with it herself. She can get up and leave them, she can press herself into the mattress/floor, limiting them. Instead with kittens growing daily and their tummies able to hold larger fillings, I can start them onto a routine that will aid them in their new worlds. Most feeds now are 3-4 pouches between them. It’s not evenly split I do know that. Humphrey & Grogu are gobblers while Basil & Vincent like to take more time over it. I’m careful that they are not bulldozed, they do actually push their heads in and take the food they want & I always open another pouch keeping it coming until each kitten is 100% satisfied & walks away - shaking their back legs as they go. So, now we’re on safe footing the plan is a routine of 4 meals, which eventually their new families will get to manoeuvring to 3 and then 2 - helped with grazing food down for snacks.
When they go to their new homes their feeding plan might then look like this:
- 1- 1 ½ pouch(es) in the morning for breakfast quelling an empty tummy
- ½ -1 pouch lunch as a top up.
- ½ pouch for high tea as a snack
- 1- 1 ½ pouch(es) pouch late dinner
Meanwhile, I may have been thinking carefully about the feeding regimes … these guys , when not hungry. They either sleep or do this…