Kitten season is winding down but we do still have some stragglers in the shelter. On Monday, I picked up another litter of 3 short-haired kittens to foster: two girls, Marion (tortie) and Pickford (brown tabby) and one slightly larger boy, Chaplin (brown tabby with white belly and paws). These guys are older (and bigger) than any of the others we've fostered, probably about 4-5 months old. While they were waiting for spay and neuter surgery, they broke with upper respiratory infections. They are residing in our bathroom (which is the warmest room in the house and the easiest to clean and disinfect.) Although they aren't really more ill than any of the other URI kittens we've fostered, they seem more miserable. Their larger body weights will help as we work through the too stuffy and miserable to eat stage. We've stocked up with stinky fish canned cat food, generic pedialyte, their prescribed doxycycline, syringes and lysine. I've had to force-feed all three of them since their food has been untouched since they got here. They are drinking a bit on their own but one was showing signs of dehydration so I've been forcing pedialyte with a syringe, too. They are so messy (drooling, coughing and sneezing) that I'm keeping a set of clothes in the bathroom just for working with them. I've also had to wash my face and rinse my hair a couple times. I'm suspecting that Corey, who recommended I take them, knew they were a pain to medicate and was happy to have them out of the shelter for a while. All three are big sweeties and climb into my lap whenever I sit down to work with one of them. The tortie will climb up my leg and back to get to my shoulder when I'm standing if I let her. I had no idea a kitten that size could perch so gracefully. With my legs spread out in front of me and one kitten part way up my chest, we have enough room for everyone on my lap. They lay there snuggled, gurgling and comfortable. The fact that they want to sit on my lap reassures me that I'm not just "that lady who shoves stuff down our throats" to the kittens.
The sneezing is decreasing which means they can rest better, so I'm hoping we're in the middle of the worst of it. We'll tuck them in and then head to my uncle's house for Christmas Eve. Tomorrow morning I'm helping clean cages at the shelter starting at 8 a.m. and then we're headed to my parent's house for Christmas. We'll have to squeeze some feedings in for the kittens, too.