natasha

hooray!

I think that my biggest challenge with Boris and Natasha has been trying to give them meds while also teaching them that human contact is the best thing ever. Being picked up is hard to get used to, and having it end with being held still against your will to have eyedrops plunked into your eyes and a syringe with icky stuff forced into your mouth is just plain rude. They hate it. They fight it. I have to wrap them partially in a little burp cloth to keep from getting clawed *too* badly. And yes, they still need meds. Their little eyes are goopy and red, with the inner lid showing quite a bit sometimes. They sneeze frequently, spraying wet little droplets on me. And poor Natasha has developed some terrible diarrhea. I had to put chux pads down all over the floor, sofa, playpen, and condo so i would have a little less cleanup to do (which had been constant).

I did find a little trick to make it a little easier for them to tolerate me. I keep their food and water in the condo, and that's the only place they get them. I keep the condo doors latched except for one, right by the sofa. When they both go in, if it's anywhere near time for meds (these are twice daily), i stealthily but quickly close the one open door so they are locked in. Then I can prep their meds without them running to hide and then carefully take one out, do the meds, release that one, and repeat with the other. I like this system because it's not teaching them anything negative, like that it's not safe to go to the litter boxes, which are in the playpen, or to be near me (because I never grab them to do meds while they are just out and about in the room).

The hooray for today is that I had to restart the meds after a few days off and had worried that they would backslide into fearfulness after we'd really gotten to a good place with snuggling, petting, and approaching. They've stopped being hand-shy, pretty much, and they both climb on me for snuggles and snuggle up next to me while I'm working. I didn't want that to stop. But I gave them their first doses this morning, and almost immediately after, they were both purring and approaching me for pets. Hooray! I can medicate them properly now (ten days!) and get them well again for surgery so they can find their forever home (or homes).

And yes, that's really the biggest challenge for me: letting them go at the end. I do get so attached. 

Sweetest snuggles

last night one of the kittens—it was too dark to tell which, but I think that the purr sounded like Natasha’s—gave me the sweetest snuggle session when I laid down to sleep. She climbed up tentatively onto my chest and then settled in up against my chin. She was batting gently at my face and my hand when I petted her, flopping over for new positions, and purring like crazy. It lasted for a really long time (half an hour? An hour?) before she hopped up to the back of the sofa for the night. This was the longest either of them had allowed contact, let alone initiated it. Heaven. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

because it was too dark to get a photo or video, I offer you some photos of them during a recent day. 

IMAGE.JPG

Natasha’s scary day

poor sweetie. They like to play in this area behind and beside the sofa that is full with a radiator, a humane trap, and a big folded fake-grass ramp for our arthritic dog. Yesterday, I heard kitten shrieks and found that she had gotten stuck, head first, between the wall and the radiator; her round little belly was too big for her to slide all the way down, but her paws couldn’t back her back up to the top. Fortunately, this radiator hasn’t been hooked up, so I pulled the top away from the wall and she plopped down onto the floor, upright and physically fine. But she couldn’t seem to just walk out of the tight space at the floor, yet she was still terrified of me. Her face had this “oh shit” expression when she realized that her only hope for freedom was me touching her. So I picked her up and put her on my back, bent over, while I made sure Boris wasn’t under there and put the radiator upright again. She froze there for a few moments before fleeing to hide for a little while. Sweet Boris was calling for her until she finally decided that it was safe to emerge from hiding. She’s been playing and her usual self since then. 

They've both been climbing up onto the sofa to see me. Boris willingly comes and watches me and will let me pet him briefly. Natasha is still hissy if I look at her, but she allows a little more closeness daily. It’s fun to watch, though they are so soft and fuzzy and cute that it’s really hard not to be able to cuddle them. I’m looking forward to being able to do that. 

Natasha (the darker one farther away) even gave me some slow blinks yesterday, and she didn’t hiss when we were this close. Boris is already affectionate, if still a little cautious. They are going to be amazing pets. 

Natasha (the darker one farther away) even gave me some slow blinks yesterday, and she didn’t hiss when we were this close. Boris is already affectionate, if still a little cautious. They are going to be amazing pets. 

progress!

boris and natasha 20180629.jpg

SO MUCH PROGRESS TODAY!! i am letting boris and natasha roam the room freely again, but i napped on the floor for a while, which gave them a chance to investigate without threat, and then i sat on the floor for a few hours doing the same, and they each scampered across me a few times. and just now i decided that my butt was too sore from floor time, so i moved to the sofa, and they have EACH climbed up (a first, as far as i know) to investigate me and the laptop. right now, one of them is sitting right beside me watching the other playing on the floor. the one sitting beside me i *think* is natasha! and she is touching me. it's so wonderful to finally be breaking through to her. and i got slow blinks from him a little bit ago.

the gray fosters, day 4

boris and natasha, june 2018

boris and natasha, june 2018

(originally written on monday, june 25, 2018, but not published until saturday, june 30)

i know, i missed the first few days here. i posted a bunch on social media, and i'll transfer that stuff over here at some point. but here we have day 4 with the gray fosters (whose names are either koko and all ball or boris and natasha—i'm still deciding, but i'm leaning toward boris and natasha). it's their second day in the playpen. it's also the first morning i've found them sleeping outside the kitty pod, which shows me that they're starting to feel more comfortable. they still hissed at me when i went to pick them up, but of course i gave them eyedrops and antibiotics, so why wouldn't they?

they are scampering and playing in the playpen beside me. i'm sitting on the floor working, and i'll open the zipper door enough to put my hand in there and pretend to ignore them. yesterday i did this, and they approached to sniff me. i like this exercise in any form because it lets them investigate me in a way that lets them feel safe.