Friday, April 20, 2012

Lap It Up

Psst! Guys, c'mon! This is where she keeps the milk! Let's raid the fridge!

There are several theories about kitten weaning, and i've probably heard most of them.

Many involve things like beginning with mixing in rice cereal -- yes, just like you give human infants -- to thicken the milk, then soaking dry food in formula and getting them to suck it off of a spoon, etc. One person used to wean them onto the soft moist food. Others say give them canned, then dry.

Malarky, all of it. These are foster kittens, and need to end up on dry kibble by the time they are up for adoption. The rescue groups mandate this because they know most adopters want the ease and convenience of giving their cats dry kibble.

Trust me, i have had a difficult time getting kittens off of wet food, whether soft moist, canned, canned mixed with dry, or dry soaked in formula, or every other variation to not want to bother.

That means i take my fosters straight from formula to dry. They learn to drink instead of suck, then i put out dry food and let them learn to have at it.

Teaching them to drink involves getting one or two of them licking the formula off the end of the nipple, getting them to bring their heads down to the floor, and squeezing the formula from the bottle onto the floor as they lick, then removing the bottle. Eventually i do that with a bowl.

Much better than waiting for a turn at the bottle!

Quite often, once one gets the hang of it, another follows. Eventually they all decide waiting is not worth it.

The same happens with the kibble. One decides to nibble at it, and seems to the others to be enjoying something, so they try.

Eventually, all of them figure it out, and i'm not spending huge amounts of time and effort trying to get them to switch from one thing to another.

Of course, fresh water is offered all the time, and eventually, after sniffing and getting it in their noses and snorting and sneezing a few times, they get the hang of that too.

After that, all that i have to do is keep the adult cats, that don't need the extra weight, out of the kitten food. But that's another full time job.

Today is

Anniversary of Something That Happened So Long Ago Everyone Has Forgotten Day -- Fairy Calendar

Dogwood Festival -- Atlanta, GA, US (through the 22nd)

DNA Day -- a day for teachers, students, and everyone to learn more about genetics and genomics

Global Youth Service Days -- through the 22nd

Go Around Humming "You Light Up My Life" Until Everybody Screams Day -- the person who thought this one up should be tied down and forced to listen to Barry Manilow songs for 12 hours straight!

Kentucky Derby Festival begins

Lima Bean Respect Day

Mesir Paste Festival -- Manisa, Turkey (through the 26th; mesir paste is a blend of 41 different spices and is intended as a general cure-all and tonic; lots of craft exhibitions, concerts and sporting tournaments, as well as traditional throwing of paste off minaret of the Sultan Mosque)

National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day

National Take a Break to Reset Your Mind Day -- because everyone needs a day like this

Oiran Dochu -- Bunsui, Niigata Prefecture, Japan (famous Courtesan Parade)

Radium Day

Ridvan -- Baha'i (begins at sunset)

St. Caedwalla of Wales' Day (Patron of converts, repentant murderers)

Taro Festival -- East Maui, Hawaii, US (20th annual, through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Joey Lawrence, 1976
Carmen Electra, 1972
Don Mattingly, 1961
Clint Howard, 1959
Luther Vandross, 1951
Jessica Lange, 1949
Ryan O'Neal, 1941
George Takei, 1937
Nina Foch, 1924
Lionel Hampton, 1908
Harold Lloyd, 1839
Joan Miro, 1893

Today in History:

The last naval battle in Byzantine history, 1453
Jews are expelled from Orange Burgundy, 1505
Jacques Cartier begins the voyage in which he will claim Canada and Labrador for France, 1534
Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam, 1657
Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1657
Captain Cook arrives in New South Wales, 1770
René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou, 1828
Edgar Allan Poe's Murder in the Rue Morgue becomes the first detective story ever published, 1841
Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete their first pasteurization tests, 1862
Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride, 1902
Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the next day, 1918
Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film, 1926
Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, lands on the moon, 1972
Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years, 1986
Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race, 2008
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion kills 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico, 2010


  1. There's a lot of skill that goes into raising all these kittens, and you are someone who could write a book about it.

  2. Except that it's all explained on YouTube now, so i'm too late. Shucks!

  3. HAHA, guess what, the Dogwood Festival in Atlanta, the dogwoods have bloomed out completely! :-0
    And I must tell my sister to read your post, she and her husband work very hard with cats and cat adoptions. Poor kitties, they need such help. I will have to ask her about kitten weaning!

  4. We had kittens so young when the mom died that we still had to feed them milk, Dad tore up bread and put it in milk. We then started getting the babies used to kibble. However, they found they liked the SAINT BERNARD'S food (generally dog food mixed with left overs), much better. Bless him, the dog was tolerant, and even 'groomed' the kittens after they finished eating, usually in the dead center of the meal. We had some very gummy kittens, every so often...


  5. Kay, they set these things up a year in advance, based on the averages, and this year everyone is off. Your sister and husband sound like great people.

    Cat, that is hilarious!


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