The sad news is… the little boy, who was the smaller and weaker of the two, died sometime between 5 and 7 am this morning. He was curled up next to his sister, in their cozy heated nest. Other than needing to be coaxed into eating, and being more inclined to sleep, he showed no signs of distress or discomfort. It looks like he simply fell asleep and that was it. Not even 72 hours in this world. Yes, I cried… of course I did, even though he was only in our care for about half his tiny life. I wondered for a while if I did something, or didn’t do something, that was responsible, but realistically, he was so small, so young, so weak, and without his momcat, his odds weren’t so good. Even with her, he might have died. A quick painless death now is better than some other possibilities, but it wasn’t the possibility I wanted for him.
My wonderful friends, online and in school, are amazing and sympathetic, and I’m very grateful for it — and for Sean, who’s fighting this battle with me, and for my three adult furballs, who are unimpressed but still taking time for cuddles and love. Loki even donated some of his cheek pheromones on a small plushie tiger to put in with our little girl.
The good news is, the little girl is doing great! And she now has a name: Eva, which means “life” — something she is very full of! She’s 3.7 oz (I picked up a good scale tonight on the way home from school). She has amazingly healthy lungs, a huge appetite, and can squirm around astonishingly well for such a young baby! She’s getting about 2.5 cc (mL) of kitten formula per feeding, for a total of about 30 cc per day. To hear her tell it, we’re starving her to death! But over-feeding her would be dangerous. So we’re now measuring out the amount she gets in a 3 cc syringe and attaching a nipple instead of a needle. Once she gets ahold of that nipple, she goes blissful. We try to lean back and let her be on the chest of whoever’s feeding her while she nurses, she seems to like the heat and heartbeat. And she yowls when the milk runs out!
We’ve found that a 3×3 square of gauze works great for stimulating her to pass waste. She urinates at least a little at every feeding. Tonight, she did a lovely bowel movement for us, I think she probably feels a lot better now. Wow, you would not believe how pungent a tiny little kitten poop can be!
Eva is settled warm and cozy in the larger cat carrier. Under her, with a doubled towel and a doubled layer of soft fleece, there’s a heating pad on low. A ticking clock, wrapped in another towel, is against the back wall — simulated heartbeat, it seems to calm her. Two very small plushie tigers are in there with her. Loki tolerantly allowed me to rub one all over his cheeks to get his scent on it, and Angel rather nervously let me get a bit of her scent on the other. Trick, I might add, hissed and ran at the very idea. I think I’m going to leave a facecloth in each cat bed, to let them get well-scented.
Finally, here’s the video from last night. As I said, we aren’t using the bottle any more. We’ll do more pics and video as often as we can.
Keep the love and good wishes coming!