It’s now been over a month since I first laid eyes on my latest foster kittens, and they are now scarcely recognisable from the fragile infants whose very survival once hung in the balance.
Hand rearing is such a rewarding experience as you get to witness the kittens grow and develop, surprising you with new behaviour and endearing quirks each day. They pass each milestone in the blink of an eye, the first purr, using the litter tray, discovering a world of play, eating solid food and then before you know if they are all grown up!
Now almost 6 weeks old my kittens are no longer clumsy, bumbling babies, instead they are coordinated and agile miniature predators armed with sharp teeth and claws and highly tuned senses. With their new found curiosity they are eager to tear around create adorable mischief at every opportunity!
The kittens also are weaned which means they are no longer reliant on bottle feeding and I can sleep through the night! They now enjoy a sloppy mix of formula and meat which they relish in spreading all over each other, and my floor!
Out of six kittens, it now looks fairly likely that we have five females, and one male. Each already has their own unique personality. Like most hand reared cats, they are all incredibly affectionate, if a little clingy (literally – they have a rather painful habit of climbing up your legs!) and love nothing more than to cuddle up in your lap, or even on your shoulder and give you tiny head butts.
I am delighted to say that the runt of the litter ‘Dinky’ (who may actually be a little female) is still doing remarkably well and has surprised me with her resilience despite being behind her siblings from the very start.
She may still be only around half their size, but she is certainly no push over!
Her favourite target for a little pouncing practice is the golden tabby female. She is long legged and lightening fast, like a miniature cheetah and so we have named her Savannah.
The two ‘identikittens’, a pair of tabby and white females have grown into chunky little cats and fortunately now are easier to tell apart. Scout always has a rather forlorn expression and has the telltale grey streak on her face (no it’s definitely not just dirt!).
Her sister Scamp is a real sweetheart and loves nothing more than cuddling up and showering you with affection. You shouldn’t have favourites, but if I had to pick one she would definitely be a keeper!
Smudge is the only black and white from the litter and is the biggest of all the kittens. She is a very sweet and gentle lap cat and her and Dinky can often be found snuggled up together.
Last but not least is little Sylvester (or Sylvie, we’re not 100% sure yet!). He is an absolutely gorgeous, long hair tabby, when he isn’t smeared in food…
All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2020
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