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The area in which my family lives, along with a fair amount of wildlife, is also the roaming ground for plenty of cats. I must admit that I'm used to having mixed feelings about this — we regularly set out seed for songbirds, so feral (or neighborhood) cats are often a nuisance; & yet, some local cats have been helpful in getting rid of mice in the past. That said, we had no way of knowing what sort of cat situation would literally be brought to our doorstep today.

Late last night, my mother discovered that one of the local nocturnal (feral?) cats seemed to have left a kitten in the corner of our front patio area. Given how the cats here often have several nests, we hoped that the mother would return for the kitten during the night.

The mother didn't come. By the morning, the tiny kitten had crawled out into the middle of the front patio on his own.

Since the local animal rescue organization ignored us after several calls, here's what happened next (in rough order):

1. We gave him a box & bedding (as of this afternoon, we've provided a taller box);

2. My father found some online sources on how to feed & care for kittens that age (the kitten can fit in my hand; eyes are still closed; can't be much more than a week old), & we're now bottle-feeding the kitten on a regular schedule;

3. I myself spent most of this afternoon looking after the kitten (fighting lots of floating ragweed to do so, let me tell you...);

4. ...& tonight, we brought the kitten in his bed into our garage, the warmest sleeping spot in the house (& also to protect him from wandering possums, skunks, or whatever else decides to drop in uninvited).

I'm glad to say that after our his (her?) 1st successful feeding, the kitty became energetic enough to climb right out of the 1st bed we got — hence the bigger box we got — but we've got some serious work ahead of us.

Does anyone have any encouragement or helpful advice for the coming days?

8:45 AM PT: Thanks for the help, everyone! After a tiring day yesterday, the kitten is sleeping very soundly this morning. We've got a regular feeding schedule going as well as some good information on cleaning. Keep sending well-wishes our way!

Originally posted to Brown Thrasher on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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