Introducing… kitten Raphael and kitten Rita!!
This brother and sister are about 4 weeks old and have been with our amazing @kittencollege_awla foster coordinator for the last week. They couldn’t be more adorable (or more opinionated! 🙉)
But they also come with a… um… unique problem. Genital suckling is unfortunately a common habit that orphan kittens can develop to soothe and comfort themselves in the absence of nursing from their mother cat. Most of the time, they latch onto each other and suckle. Since this is harmful for both the suckler and the kitten being suckled, it is critical to stop this behavior right away. Thankfully, separation solves the issue almost all of the time. But there’s an added complication with this pair because Raphael suckles on Rita & he ALSO suckles on himself! 😳 The flexibility required for this feat would be impressive if it wasn’t so dangerous (not to mention gross 🥴). Right now he’s in a separate pen from Rita and is also wearing a tiny cone made from craft foam (which he looks adorable in and if you think I’m not going to decorate it, then you don’t know me at all 😂). It’s not the perfect solution – he’s a little Houdini and has already figured out how to wiggle out of it – but it’s better than nothing. And we have the pens set up right near where we work so we can keep a close eye on him. Weaning is just around the corner, and I’m hoping it will help break this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad habit.
Neither Raphael nor Rita are the best eaters and they could definitely have better poop. They’re also a bit underweight. But their cuteness more than makes up for all of the issues they’ve brought with them! Raphael has the loudest purr and I can NOT handle that itty bitty white mustache and those crazy spider whiskers!! Rita is pretending she is a spicy kitten- she has hissed at me a couple of times 🤣 – but she is fooling literally no one. She’s really a sweet little gummy bear who gazes up at you with the most thoughtful expressions. @our_fostering_tails said.
Welcome, R babies! I’m so glad you’re here
R babies having some R&R 🤫 @our_fostering_tails said.
kitten Happily, kitten Rita and kitten Raphael are doing amazing. They are eating and pooping well, gaining more, and suckling less. It’s not often the case that the younger litter is easier and less maintenance than the older one! But I’m thankful for it because it’s allowed me to focus on the big kids right now.
Happy Caturday from baby kitten Rita and her baby blues 💙 @our_fostering_tails said.
Just a boy and his blep 😋 @our_fostering_tails said.
Good food, good mood @our_fostering_tails said.
Happy 5ish Weeks to Raphael!! 🏹 @our_fostering_tails said.
Happy 5ish Weeks to Rita!! 🍂 @our_fostering_tails said.
Rita needed a bath today. 10/10, she would not recommend @our_fostering_tails said.
Raphael likes to prove me wrong as soon as I say something so 🤫 But… it seems like his persistent suckling habit might be broken at last! We’ve been letting him play with Rita more and wear his cone less these last few days and I haven’t seen any signs of him suckling her or even himself. Usually I get a bit sentimental when my babies turn into little kids – but that’s one thing I’ll never miss at all! @our_fostering_tails said.
Pro tip : when trying to convince your foster mom that she forgot to feed you your breakfast, make sure to wipe all evidence of it from your nose first! @our_fostering_tails said.
Happy 6ish Weeks to Raphael!! @our_fostering_tails said.
Happy 6ish Weeks to Rita!! @our_fostering_tails said.
We are away until the weekend to spend Thanksgiving with family – so we once again jumped into our kitten taxi to make some special holiday deliveries around town!
Raphael and Rita will be staying with fellow AWLA foster @katkimbell. The two of them are doing so well and I’m just hoping they don’t do too much growing up without me! Quill has returned to @beaniebabyfosters to spend his staycation with his favorite foster aunt and some very cute (and adoptable!) friends his own age. All three of my kittens are in the best of hands but I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider smuggling them into my suitcase!
As I sit in the car typing this and reflecting on the past year, I just feel so very thankful for this work I get to do. I’m thankful for my amazing adopters, many of whom have stayed in frequent touch with me and who make my day with photos and updates of thriving babies. I’m thankful for the supportive fostering community who always steps up and steps in wherever there’s a need. And I’m thankful for all of you – for your cheerleading and your donations and your love of the little kittens who have passed through our home and hearts this year. @our_fostering_tails said.
Home sweet home 🥰