We are raising two sets of kittens; one set six weeks old, the other almost a month old.
My six- 6 week olds have been eating big food, trying to use the box (with mixed success, today was bad) and socializing happily with us humans.
The tiny ones are mothered by a kitty who really doesn't like humans and only tolerates us for food so it was important to get the babies away and petted.
I was worried about trying to do that since I felt that there was a toss-up: move the babies and have Stripey Butt reject them or move them so they can be adopted.
Stripey Butt solved this for me by beginning to ignore the babies. There were only three, two grey stripes and one orange kitten and after weeks of hiding them she allowed them to walk around the house by themselves.
She waited too late.
She managed to starve the runt of her litter before I could save him.
He was a striped gray and black kitty who looked far younger than his brothers.
I found him when we got home from dinner, doing baby-kitten stagger and mewing, while his mother flirted with one of our neutered males.
I scooped him up and set up my feeding station of water and cat milk. He wouldn't take the food and his mother wouldn't nurse him so I held him close to my skin. He slept a little and then stopped breathing. I did everything I knew to do but the tiny one was dead.
Stripey and Pinky are twins, yet Pink is the good mother with her brood of six while Stripey can't keep her 3 alive much less be nice to the food source.
I am putting her into a cat carrier and sending her to the shelter sooner than I had planned. Pinky can nurse Stripey's remaining babies (they've shared that duty in the past with Pinky doing most of the work). The shelter here is no-kill and I just can't have a cat that won't accept petting and who won't try to keep her babies alive.
I am very bitter because I held this kitten while he cried for food his mother wouldn't give (and apparantly had not for some time) and he wouldn't take from me. He is wrapped in a small towel now and will be buried in a secluded corner of the back yard
We'll fix Pinky and keep her and I hope to place all but one of the kittens. There is one little golden boy who wants nothing more than to climb my shoulders and hide in my hair. Have to love a baby with good taste!
I am not at my best now so this is probably shitty writing. I haven't lost a cat in many years and losing one, especially a baby, is very hard.
I keep looking at him and wondering if I could have done something, if I should have just taken him from Stripey Butt before things reached this point.
I haz a sad.