As some of the cats who come to RAPS are pregnant on arrival, there’s sometimes a need for staff or experienced volunteers who are able to foster mom and her kittens at home until they’re old enough to be weaned.
Sanctuary staff member Ann had yet to take a turn at this when a young black female arrived at the No. 5 Rd. shelter with a bellyful of kittens, so it was her turn to be “conscripted” for foster duty. No doubt imagining that her first RAPS litter would be just three or four strong, Ann agreed readily enough… then discovered she would be caring for a litter of nine.
We’re not sure what her name was at 5 Rd., but Ann calls mama cat “Kaynine.” (Hmmm… wonder where the “nine” came from?)
Kaynine is a surprisingly laid-back mom for one so young, quickly accepting not only her foster human’s presence but her assistance with the kittens. Now, with the babies still tiny but getting more wiggly all the time, Kaynine is entirely content to let Ann leave the room with a bowlful of them and help out with the feeding.
Ann’s worked out a system by which she relieves poor put-upon mom of first the littlest kittens (or as she calls them, the “runties”) who might need a little extra food to help them catch up, and then their bigger and rounder siblings (“fatties”) in turn. Kaynine enjoys a little relief from her duties, and the kittens get a little extra cat milk and some human socializing.
Helping Ann to feed the runties on Monday night, I was not surprised to find myself wearing a certain amount of milk. I was surprised to find myself eventually wearing three contented, sleepy kittens like a furry necklace.