|Purred: Thu May 31, '12 12:05pm PST |
|Hey...I need some ideas regarding a litter of kittens my neighbor "owns."
The mother ran off and got hit by a car when the kittens were about three weeks old. You can tell he's a great owner, since he let that happen!
He put the kittens in a laundry basket under his porch and tried bottle feeding them...ONCE A DAY.
I heard them screaming one day into this experiment and ran out and bought some KMR.
Since then, I have been feeding them every four to five hours.
They are now roughly 4.5 weeks old and beginning to experiment with wet food. Every morning and every evening, I put fresh bedding in their basket because the basket is so small, they're making a terrible poopy mess EVERYWHERE (including on themselves). One of them got a stomach bug and nearly died, so I brought her inside and nursed her back to health with lots of pedialyte and attention. Then, the runt of the litter came down with pneumonia. I took her to the vet and fifty dollars later, was told she would probably die. I got antibiotics for her. She has been in the house with me for three days and is doing GREAT--screaming her head off, constantly on the go, and eating like a horse.
What I'm trying to say is that I am putting lots of time, money, and effort into caring for these kittens. The neighbors aren't mean...just totally ignorant. The guy told me today that he thought it was time to "start them on some hot dogs." WHAT??? I told him feeding kittens HOT DOGS as their first solid food was a very, very bad idea, and he genuinely looked surprised. I also told him the runt had pneumonia and that I'd taken her to the vet, and that she probably got it from being exposed to the damp, moldy air under the porch. He scoffed at that and suggested that maybe she was just allergic to the tree pollen and that the vet just wanted my money.
I have already offered once to take and raise the entire litter, but he says has friends who want kittens when they're old enough. I DON'T THINK THEY'LL SURVIVE to be adopted out at this rate, and if they do, they'll all end up like mom--short, tragic lives, or possibly pregnant soon with litters of their own. If he's so interested in adopting them out to his awesome friends, why doesn't he take them into the house and raise them properly??
This morning, one of them had diarrhea and one of them had a goopy eye. More meds. More money. And they all are going to need baths.
I'm looking at the weather and seeing the temps are going to dip into the low fifties for the next few nights. I suppose I'll just tell him that I'm going to bring them into my basement at night so they won't die. I'm sure he won't believe that 5 week old kittens can't tolerate 50 degree temps very well.
At any rate...I need advice. I want him to give up the kittens to me. Several people have offered to go steal them in the middle of the night, and that would be great, except I'm SURE he would suspect that I'm behind it. Any ideas?? I even thought about offering him money, but taking care of the litter has already worn my spare finances thin. Kitten formula and vet visits aren't cheap. I'm also very worried because while this has been my week off from work and I've given them my undivided attention, next week, I have to go back to work, and that involves me being gone ALL DAY on Monday, all night Monday, and all day Tuesday. There's no way the kittens will live through my absence if this guy doesn't clean up his act, bring them inside, and start feeding them/cleaning them up regularly.
I'm extremely stressed out over all of this right now and I have no clue what to do. ANY advice would be great.
Thanks so much for any ideas you can offer.
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