On Saturday just past, I made a commitment that will last approximately 6 - 8 weeks. And it is a demanding one.
I am fostering a litter of kittens. Good gawd, what have I done!?!
Five squeaky squirmy babies who are about 4 weeks old. They are cute beyond words! Their mum was a feral cat who was captured, spayed and released back to her colony. Truly feral cats are almost impossible to tame. Their feral babies, when captured at this early age, are very easy to tame.
There is an organization run by a wonderful young woman named Jessica to trap, neuter and release the feral cats in Windypeg (we're past the cold so can no longer call it Winterpeg). It's a monumental task but they, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, are making good headway into stopping the growth of the city's feral cat population. And any cats that are trapped that are tame strays are fixed and adopted out. As are the kittens they take in. They also do very low cost spays and neuters for the low income families who otherwise could not afford to get their pets fixed.
It's a job that is becoming noticed and their efforts are very much appreciated!
So. Onto these babies. Here's a photo of the litter from Saturday after I got them home.
Starting at the top: cinnamon tabby girl, brown tabby boy, black boy, brown tabby girl, cinnamon tabby boy.
The cinnamon tabby is a very rare colouration in domestic cats. A total absence of black. They are a combination of milk chocolate, cream, orange and russet. It will be interesting to see how they turn out when they have their adult coats and not baby fluff. Apparently mum was a medium haired cat, but I can't yet tell if any or all of the babies will have longer hair.
They are taming very quickly and swarm me whenever I come into the room. They purr and climb all over me and love to have their little faces rubbed. But their litter box skills are just developing and watching one of them trying to poop without falling on their noses is pretty amusing! Balance is not yet fully acquired. They eat canned kitten food with gusto and require hosing down afterwards as it gets everywhere! They are learning about crunchy kibble. They play like little squeaky toys armed with micro mini shark teeth! Bite inhibition is a learned skill, apparently. They practice on each other constantly.
Pips and Lila are understandably affronted by this invasion. Pips has taken to growling and hissing whenever she passes the door to the kitty nursery (aka my computer room). Lila is hiding in the basement and will only come up stairs at night. And if she even smells them on me, she bolts back down. She is such a chicken! But given that it's only been a few days, I am sure they will eventually settle down and accept the babies. Because it won't be long before the kitties will be out and about in the rest of the house.
On a secondary (not really!) note, a while back I had ventured once again into the alternate universe of online dating. Much as I hate that place, it really is the only place to get out and meet someone. And, it seems... I have!
I will call him Maart. He's Dutch, born and raised in Canada, although his parents and older brother were born in the Netherlands. He contacted me about three weeks ago and we started talking. Did the meet and greet a week ago last Saturday and have had three dates since then. All is going well. He's the same age as me, also works in the healthcare field, although in a different capacity (and at a different facility), has two grown kids and a desire to be with someone for a real live honest-to-goodness relationship. He's not afraid of commitment (ala MoS) and vows he is not seeing anyone else (ala Long Haul Trucker). He lives in a town close to mine.
Maart is very comfortable to be around and easy to talk to. We have lots in common and both like how things have started and are looking forward to where this journey leads. So I will post updates periodically.
Spring is sprung and there is now greenery poking spikes up through the soil in the garden out back. I don't know yet what most things are, other than the ferns because they are instantly recognizable. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, there will be blossoms of some sort! It is raining steadily today and pleasant temperature-wise (forecast high is 21C). That should hasten the emergence of plant life quite nicely.