Sunday, June 22, 2014

10 Rules: When You Foster Kittens

Hey everybody! I hope you guys are in the best of health looking forward to a great day everyday! I am sure by now most of you would have known that I love cats, even if it's a tiger, a cheetah or puma but due to restrictions we have here, the only thing I can afford to have are domestic cats.

I have a dream to have a pet cheetah one day. In hoping it grows strong enough, and gentle enough not turn against me and have me for its meal! If the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) gets too lofty here, I can always have my pet cheetah to bring me around. Horses are too mainstream, sorry!


It's been a while since I had kittens in my home. The last time I had them was about two years ago. I don't adopt cats because my dad and my brother are shy towards them - but things took a twist. Other than that we believe that cats should be given the chance to live and not euthanized without given the chance to see the world at least.

Rule 1: You will feel attached to them, know that you have to let it go unless your plan to adopt. Bear that in mind!

So this time, I was grateful to receive a call from SPCA to foster a pair of kittens. I was so happy to have new members in our family! I always make it a rule not to foster one, and not to foster too many either. I want to be able to give undivided attention and them to have a friend to play with.

video

On the way to their new home!

Look at how small it is!

Rule 2: If you are going to foster one, keep them accompanied. If two or more, be prepared for some hurdle in early stages. Very challenging for first timers who are inexperienced. School holidays are the best time.

When I got home I was really crazy over these two - Remy and Taffy! It was the cutest little thing ever! They were as small as a rat, not much fur, legs as fragile as chicken legs, can't walk that well, soft meow and was greedy when fed!


Rule 3: If you have a new born orphaned kitten, it is important for you to keep them warm by putting a heating pad below their sleeping area as they have not built their mechanism to shiver yet.

I didn't bother buying toys or made-for-cat heating pad because I am just having them for a short term so most of the things that I have for them are homemade. Even their toys. So we put them in a big box temporarily. It is easy to maintain as I don't have to wash them, just get a new one if I have to, and it keeps them warm through the night.

Rule 4: As a foster parent, there is no need to buy kitty stuff. They are even too young to enjoy such luxurious place to sleep.

As they were very very young, they cannot be potty trained so they pretty much poop everywhere in the box. So we just changed their pad and wipe them clean.

Rule 5: Use your unused newspapers as their pad. Saves money and time as you will be changing it almost every 4-hours. Besides, it's a good way to recycle your newspapers!

Rule 6: Stock up toilet roll and wet tissue. They poop more than a newborn baby.

Once in a while I would let them roam free under supervision as their bones are not fully developed and strong yet. They look a little creepy at first because at one time they look like kangaroo, ape or even a rat. I tried my best not to image it as rats otherwise I wouldn't want to hold them!

Many times I realized Taffy had no appetite to eat. She would but she would suck the milk for a while and push it away as compared to Remy. Then it started to lose weight, very weak and even have blood in her stool. One night it got so bad, blood came out and she did not have the energy to even stand. I thought of bringing her to the vet the following day but my instinct told me I had to go that night. So I went to bring both kittens over to Amber Vet at Siglap. Efficient service!

I was really worried that she could not last the journey so I sped through, ignored my dinner and called the doctor to hurry and when we were there, Taffy was found to have very little fluid in her body. So that night my brother took pains to force feed her with water and antibiotic. It almost wreck my heart to see her like that.

At this time I really understand how important it is for them to have a cat friend. We do not suffice their emotional needs. They are siblings to begin with. Remy being the healthier one, although on medication for fear of being infected, slept on Taffy to provide her sister with warmth. It was the sweetest thing I've seen in my life!

Remy sleeping on top of Taffy to give it warmth.

Taffy getting better and Remy stood by her side still.

Looking back, I could have cried buckets!

I was really grateful to God for giving back Taffy's health, she started to gain appetite, and from the antibiotic she took, all the bacteria that was in her was out through her stool. Although it was really disgusting, I felt a quite satisfied to see those bad boys out of her.

Rule 7: Find out the nearest 24-hour vet and keep their number. In case of emergencies like this.

Ever since then, I started to train them to defecate on their sand tray. When I first fostered a kitten, I did not have any idea on how to train them but it is not as hard as it seems actually! Cats are guided more by sense of smell than sight. So I would put their stool on the tray, force them a little bit into smelling it and help them simulate raking on the sand. After some time it comes naturally. Once they manage to do that, I move them to a bigger home - the bathroom.

Rule 8: Kittens like babies need bigger holding area as they get bigger and still dependent.

Many thought that I am such a bad fosterer but first, we must know that cats are territorial animals. They need to know their place to take a dump. By putting them there for a week, they have a sense they have to poop there from the scent. They are fast learners. It took them less than a week to learn that since then, they were liberated to roam around. I was really happy to be able to let them run around freely!

video
Teasing!

I think they were shy at first. They like to stick around the kitchen and not go far. I'd bring them out to the living room and they'd come back to sleep on the pile of towels. Besides, they were still young and new to the place, so I think they were very comfortable there.

Only after some time they no longer sleep there but behind the laundry machine instead. I had no idea that my house has a secret passage that can lead them there. When I got home and called them, I thought they ran out of the house and go missing! I was this close to printing lost and found posters. Then I realized they were so small, how far can they run? Oh, I even thought of the possibility of them falling from my house. Turns out they were hiding right behind the laundry area!

Their favourite hideout.

Rule 9: Cats are more curious, run faster and jump higher than you. Always be wary of their whereabout in the house! They can even climb my curtains.

They started to get really playful and wild which I really love! They'd spend a lot of time sleeping - for growth. Most of their waking time is spent playing and exploring the house. I like it when they horseplay - didn't resulted in a serious fight. They often disturb each other and then tugged sleep together in each other's company. They'd try to bite the corner of my blanket and wrestle with it sometimes! Crazy!

Taffy trying to open the door. She is a very strong girl!
Eating together!

We showered them once in a while, Remy was funny! Ever since the first shower, she ran away upon hearing water coming off the tap. Soon enough both are accustomed to it.

On the day of their return, my mum told me that they went up to my mum's shoulder, not wanting to return to SPCA seeing that they will be in cage for quite some time before being adopted. I'd love to save all the animals in this world but I can't do it alone. That is as far as I can help!


video
Final workout the morning before being sent back to SPCA. Hehe!

Sending them off back to SPCA with a heavy heart. 

Remy and Taffy, we love you so much! We miss you already, be wild and crazy! I hope I've taught you well enough to take care of each other and yourselves (strongly hope you don't get separated). Your little mischief, golden speckled fur and meows will be deeply missed!

Rule 10: Never over pamper your foster kittens. Teach them to be street smart!

Have a wonderful life ahead!

Click here to foster a pet.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Singapore
31 Mount Vernon Road, Singapore 368054.

No comments:

Post a Comment