This morning all was well. I went downstairs to open the basement windows, and then saw that all food was gone. So I added new food and also fastened one of the food bowls to the crate in a lower position and between two of Mitsy’s bowls so the kittens can reach it. Mitsy misunderstood and started eating from it, and did not notice that she had her own full bowl….
As she was eating, I petted her back again. A couple of times. She did notice, was puzzled as usual, but kept eating. The fourth time she turned her head and hissed. So we know the boundary is still in place. I am amazed by how sleek she feels. She is all muscle, there is no additional fat.
Later we are going to get our hair cut, so I will go downstairs now to check the bowls again, so that everyone is well stacked for the afternoon….
When we returned from running an errand, Mitsy was not in a happy place. Her wet food had gone and the wet food I left for the kittens was also gone. She hissed at me in reproach. I just ignored it. I think hissing is one of her communications of discomfort. It is what it is. I still watch her, because I respect her space, but we are good for now.
She still had plenty of kibble, so it was not as if she had to go hungry. But madame likes her new diet: we mix a teaspoon of fish in water (mostly sardines) with the power food for mommies and kittens. I was impressed by how much she has been eating lately. We wondered if the kittens secretly are eating. We have seen them sniff at the food, I have even put some in their mouths, on their tongue and their faces so that they get a taste when licking their lips. But I have not seen them eat. We looked up in our cat books if there is anything we need to do to get them eating, but it says that even the mother does not force them to eat. they have to figure it out for themselves.
I spent some time with the family after refreshing food, playing with the kittens and checking them for fleas. The ones I checked are all clean. Of course they sometimes scratch themselves, but nothing out of the ordinary. The only one that may have an issue is Sipke, who has scratched her left ear from the start. She is also more unsteady it seems, so I hope nothing is going on with the inner ear. She is too little to have it checked or treated or even to be taken away from Mitsy for any substantial time, so we will have to wait a bit longer to have her checked. It may also simply be because she is the junior of the bunch, a good half day younger than Pumba, the oldest.
Two kittens discover solid food
In the evening I spent some time with the cats as well. I pick up Femke for a bit, then put her back and pick up Pumba and keep him in my lap for a while. I have the mousse mommy-and-kitten food with me in a tin and to my absolute astonishment, he suddenly starts licking it from my pinky finger. when I let him sniff it. It is not just a tentative lick, he is really understanding the concept of eating! I can’t believe it! I move my pinky slowly, slowly to the food can and he is most definitely eating it! I then put some of the stuff in the small ceramic eating bowl and he is undeterred. When he stops for a bit, I pet him and then put him back into Basecamp and put the bowl there as well. And he comes back for seconds! Go figure that it is the oldest kitten that is first at the table! There must be a growth spurt coming soon!
A bit later he has had enough and takes off to Mitsy. Sipke, in the meantime, has been sleeping in the far corner of Basecamp, her favourite spot, and I hold out the bowl with food to her as well after she wakes up. She has a slow start, but then she too suddenly understands how to eat. She enjoys at least a teaspoon of solid food. It feels like a miracle!
Maybe they were eating all along, stealing from mom, without me noticing, which might be why the food was disappearing so quickly…
Now I am starting to keep my eye on the litterbox. We have only seen Mitsy’s turds and pee, nothing that looked like kitten poop. Although I am not sure what that would even look like. I have seen some of the kittens pee in the litter box, at least, they went through all the motions and I even saw one strain as if he was preparing a poop and making whistling noises. Their intestines must be starting to work on their own. I can imagine that the very first poop could be a bit painful and hard to pass. Certainly a new experience.
What a joyful discovery though and I am in so much awe of mother nature. Again, no intervention is needed on our part. These things simply happen when the time is right for it.
A sleeping start
Right before I do last rounds, there is some commotion in the Ensuite, where all of the kittens are sleeping.
I am not sure what happened at first, but Cheetah suddenly sat up and cried out in loud protest. I thought he might have fallen off the scratch post platform in his sleep. Or maybe a play fight with one of the others. I go in and comfort him. He goes right back to sleep after that. How cute! Later, on the cat cam, I see what really happened: he had a gigantic start in his sleep that threw his body over on his side. It could be a growing start or a dream. I can imagine that it scared the living daylights out of him, poor thing!