Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Update...

It has brought many tears to my eyes reading all the love, support, and advice I have from all of you. Thank you so very much for everything. Reading all of your kind words really means a lot to me... I really, really appreciate it.

Things have been a bit rough since yesterday morning, but I'm continuing to truck on and stay strong for this litter, and for Rosie. Tired as I may be. (Thank goodness for having time off)

We have dubbed the runt as Wesley (Crusher), since we have been on a Star Trek marathon as he sleeps on my chest... and he is currently my main focus. He's still a huge concern because of yesterday.

After lots of reading, research, and comments from you all, I decided it best to keep Wesley under close supervision, and bottlefeed him KMR myself. His symptoms yesterday morning were almost seizure-like, where I thought I had lost him three times (before we lost Oscar). I rubbed his body and kept him warm... and mainly, got food into him. I've determined that he has a really hard time nursing, and probably had no, or very little, food in his belly. This could have been the issue with Oscar, too... but didn't know until it was too late.

Ever since Wesley has been under my constant watch, he's been doing better. He's warm, & he's eating 2ml of formula every two hours (including overnight) - with a bit of difficulty, but he gets there eventually... the eyedropper works much better than the bottle nipple. I would have checked his weight by now, but my kitchen scale needs a battery - I hope to have one tonight though, so I can start monitoring it. He's smaller than his sibling, for sure, but I hope he'll start gaining weight with these regular feedings.

As for his sibling, I still don't know the gender, because I have completely left this baby under Rosie's watch, with as minimal contact with it as possible. I don't want to interfere at all, because it seems to be doing fine with the nursing, etc, with Rosie. Once in a while I can hear it complain from the office, but eventually I'll go check, and it's found its way back to Rosie's belly. Maybe once I get the battery for the scale, I'll borrow the kitten quickly to check its weight and gender.

I haven't heard from Pet Save yet (to my surprise)... so I'm probably going to call my own vet today on advice. Though, I think things are (knock on wood) okay for now, minus Wesley not doing well with Rosie.
I honestly don't mind the late night feedings and constant monitoring... but it is tough to do anything when I'm restricted to watching him all the time. He's most comfortable sleeping on my chest right now, near my heart. He does well with the homemade incubator overnight, but seems to prefer being close to me during the day ...But, am I spoiling him? Should I keep him in the box all the time? I tried him with Rosie for 2 hours this morning with no success. Every time I went back in there he made his way away from her on the floor. Even sticking him next to her nipple... nothing.

Anyway, I think that's it for now. The little guy is curled up here fast asleep right now... so I can't post any pictures  - the camera is at the other end of the coffee table, and I don't want to disturb him by getting up, but once I go upstairs for his next feeding in 20 minutes or so, I'll try to upload them after that. I have one of him sleeping on Rosie's foot when I stuck him in there with her this morning that I thought was cute. Maybe I'll try to get a few more before then.

Again, thank you all so much. I'll keep you informed soon.

PS: Yoko has been giving me distance during all of this... it's almost like she knows. But she's been happy and pleasant with me, and still sleeps on my head when I get my couple hours in at night. She's such a good kitty.

Just a couple pictures of Wesley, to keep things positive....

On Rosie's foot this morning.

Waiting for a feeding... as usual.

Weighed them in this evening. "3rd" baby MAY be female... super hard to tell in the short time I had. But the weight difference was alarming... Wesley in at 3.1 ounces, and "3rd" at a whopping  5.0 ounces! The difference between the two is amazing. It is my goal to get weight on this guy... and to my disappointment, he had the runs earlier, too... but then ate 3ml for his 6:00 feeding. Any tips on getting more weight on him, or helping with diarrhea, would be appreciated. Talked to another two vet techs today, and they believe it's probably due to formula, and to not be alarmed.


  1. I wouldn't worry about spoiling him at this point, he's so little that it's not really a concern (when he gets bigger, you'll want to get him back with his sibling, though, so he can have that interaction with another kitten his size). Keep him with you as much as you can, but don't feel bad about needing to put him down every once in a while if you need to do something. I know it seems overwhelming right now, but trust me - when this stage is past, you'll think "Wow, that went by fast!" :)

    I'm keeping you and Wesley (and Rosie and the other baby!) in my thoughts. ::hugs::

  2. We came over from Space Paws and want to say how sorry we are to hear our toue loss of Oscar. We are purraying furry hard for you, Rosie, and the babies to all come out of this ok. We will now follow your blog to keep up to date on their progress. Just take it to heart in knowing that Oscar knows (even at his tiny age) you did all you could. You will one day see him again.

    Gentle Hugs and Purrs,
    The Kool~Kittie~Krew
    aka...Skeeter, King, Pandora, and Cricket (mom too)

  3. It must be so difficult to overcome your heartbreak and carry on... You're amazing! I'm keeping you and the kitties in my thoughts.

  4. Aww, sorry to hear about Oscar, but it seems like things will be getting better for Wesley and what you're doing now is working. Do try to remember to take care of yourself too :)

  5. You aren't spoiling him. This is what he needs at this stage, just food and a mom figure to be next to.

  6. oh i love wesley crusher! what a cute name.

    sounds like things are going okay, so good. i know you wanted a nice 3 weeks off, so don't let oscar's passing cloud this time. there was no way you could have known and nothing you could have done. and now you have a new little guy who needs you, wesley. i'm QUITE envious that i don't have a wee newborn kitten on my chest all day...

    and yoko, what a good girl. maybe, just maybe, she'll pull a butterbean and take on the kittens once they're old enough. ;)

    hugs to you, new mommy.

  7. Robyn - I certainly hope that's true. And, yep, keeping him near me as often as I can. He loves it, too. I will definitely keep him in touch with his sibling as well. Do you think I should consistently (daily visits) keep him together with them after his eyes open? So he can see and relate to Mama and sibling?

    Angie - I figured Wesley was the 'runt' of the show ;) Plus it's a cute name! Thought it was a great idea!

    Thank you all so much for your support.. it helps a tremendous amount. I can only hope that things will go better from here.. even though we hold the memory of Oscar very close to our hearts. We miss him, even though we didn't know him that long.

  8. You are such a wonderful person ~ what a way to spend your holidays. Baby kitties and Rosie are so lucky to be in your loving care! Warm thoughts for some good days ahead!

  9. Very much sympathy and love! I don't think you can spoil such a little one. Once he's bigger, he'll need to learn manners from his siblings, but right now he just needs snuggles and food.

  10. Lynds, there's no way you can spoil a baby as young as he is. He absolutely needs the warmth & close contact he's getting from you. He would die without it. All newborn babies - human included - thrive on it.
    You're doing a great job, Lynds (& Doug). From what I've been reading, it's extremely difficult to keep newborn kittens alive if the mother isn't caring for them. I've read that if you can save even one of them, it's a major accomplishment.
    You're doing the very best that you can, and I'm so proud of you.

  11. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Oscar, and that Rosie perhaps has been so traumatized by her own life that she isn't so sure about how to take care of her babies. It makes me sad to know, but I see that you are doing an incredible and difficult job with them all. My sympathies.

  12. (((kittykye))) SeaJay was quite eloquent. That baby needs all the love and warmth you can give him right now. And Robyn so right... you'll wonder at how quickly this time passed a few months from now. All our love and prayers are with you, Doug, Yoko (the sweetie pie), Wesley, the 3rd and Rosie.

  13. This is my first time to your blog, via IBKC to Pitter Pats to here. I foster kittens, too - usually the sick bottle babies. It is very hard to lose a little one - I'm sorry. Little Wesley is giving you the gift of someone else to focus on, the thing that keeps me going, too. A few tips from my past experience:

    * When mixed correctly, kitten milk replacement formulas may lead to cottage cheese-like soft stool, but not frank diarrhea, the pool-of-liquid kind. Definitely look for another cuase.

    * A kitten of this size who does have diarrhea can get dehydrated very quickly. Dehydration is one cause of decreased appetite. Subcutaneous fluids can be a life saver.

    * To monitor for dehydration, check for tenting of the skin over the shoulders, and weigh the kitten every day. Again at this size, stalling, or worse, losing weight, over a day or two is a real problem.

    * I find a 3 cc syringe to be the best feeding tool for babies who aren't good at sucking. Just the right pressure, and more control than a dropper. Plus easy to keep track of volume consumed. Your vet can give you one or two. Just wash between feedings.

    You are doing just the right thing, supplementing Wesley with food and keeping him warm. I would be following daily weights on the others, too, so that you can intervene quickly for anyone else who starts falling off the curve.

    Does Rosie need to be checked? Sometimes a low grade infection or post-partum intra-abdominal problem can contribute to poor milk production and mothering skills.

    Most importantly, keep listening to your gut. Best of luck to Rosie and the remaining kittens. And best of sleep to you.


Leave me your paw print! :)