Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Super Litter met a milestone Wednesday night...they moved! The plastic storage container that served as their nest box was getting too small. Both mamas could not comfortably stretch out while nursing, and the two weekers were begining to need some room to toddle. Luckily, ToysRUs has its summer wading pools in stock, I bought one and set it in the kitten room, expecting that it would take a day or so for mamas to decide it was OK to make the move. Not so, they leaped into the wading pool and stretched out together. So I put the babies in with them. They seem happy with the arrangement, no one feels the need to move babies around and the big kids get to explore on tentative little legs.
Kitten development very closely parallels human baby development. As the older litter's eyes (and ear canals) are opening I have been testing their sight and hearing. I hold the kitten close to my face and make eye contact. Once I am sure the kitten is focused on me I move to the left or right continually talking and coaxing the baby. Sure enough the kitten will turn its head to follow my voice and to meet my gaze.
Up until now, locomotion has been a swimming type of crawl towards the warmth and smell of mamas body and her full nipples. The kittens then go through a period of exercising their limbs before actually testing them out by crawling, toddling and finally walking. They will lie face up, on their back and wave fore paws in the air, kick their hind legs and invite their human mom to tickle their full and satitisfied bellies. Irresistable! The crawling is pitiful. Their first attempts are accompanied by much wobbling, tentative starts and then an awkward plop followed by a pitiful cry! Of all our first litter, little Annie is the best, she is even investigating the high sides of the new nest. She will be the first to escape for sure.