Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Lucy and the Puppy Kitten
She said, ‘Great! How would you like to nurse a 3-month-old kitten for me?”
A friend of hers had given her an abandoned male kitten to care for, since normally she does that kind of stuff, but this week she is busy getting ready for her son’s graduation party, so she was just too busy to attend to the two-hour feedings.
I said I would do it, knowing that my daughter Emily, home from college, would be in love and I wouldn’t have to do much.
Emily and I discussed it and I informed her that we would only have the kitten for about three weeks and then we would have to find it a home, because our cat, Cally, would not tolerate another cat around the house, although she might accept a kitten for a while.
Emily argued, knowing she would want to keep it, but I stood firm. We’ll see how that works out.
We feed the kitten milk replacement formula from an eyedropper. Afterwards we clean him with a warm wet paper towel to imitate the licking of the mother cat. This also induces the kitten to eliminate, since they can’t do this on their own yet.
I was thinking that our cat might even adopt the motherless kitten, but when we showed the meowing babe to Cally, she stiffened and hissed at it, then took herself outside.
But all was not lost.
At first, we were careful to keep our Weimaraner, Lucy, away from the kitten. Gradually we introduced the new member of the household to Lucy, so she would know this was our cat. Her interest was fanatic. Eventually we let her sniff the cat. She was in love. After we felt it was safe, we put the kitten on the floor. Lucy laid down next to the little thing and assumed the nursing position, getting in occasional gentle licks.
That was it. Lucy finally attained motherhood. Kitty is her puppy.
It was a little hard on the tiny kitten, getting washed with a tongue that was bigger than her entire body, but Lucy’s care worked better than the paper towel in helping him to eliminate waste. And Lucy cleaned up the mess afterwards!
I won’t tell you how. It would make you gag.