It’s amazing how much effort it takes to care for three tiny kittens. Bottle-feeding, for starters, was something quite new for me. My son was breastfed, so mixing, measuring, and washing up were things I never even thought about when he was a baby. And did you know that bottle-fed kittens need to be burped just like human babies? It was really kind of funny to hear; it sounded more like a squeak than any burp my son ever let loose.
Although I had never thought about burping kittens, it didn’t really come as a huge surprise. One thing that did catch me off guard, however, was the fact that very young kittens do not spontaneously pee or poop; they have to be stimulated. Usually, the mother cat does this by licking the kittens on their bottoms. But with Mother Cat no longer in the picture, who do you think inherited this honor? You guessed it: Yours Truly. I’ve never been much of an arse kisser, so you can imagine how relieved I was to learn that this ritual can be simulated with the use of a damp cotton ball. And, by golly, it works. Who knew? Well… someone did, obviously.
When my cat had kittens a few years ago, I did wonder briefly where they “went”. I saw Sassy licking their bums, but it only registered in my brain as grooming. I now realize that it was grooming and then some. I was probably just in denial. I mean, who wants to think about these things? In fact, you’re probably not thanking me for making you think about it, but I refuse to bear the burden of this knowledge alone.
Seriously, though, it was an interesting and fun experience for the most part. Not only did I learn about caring for kittens, I learned quite a bit about the pet over-population in our area, and the resources available to deal with it.