P: PIPSQUEAK

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Pipsqueak today, in one of his favorite spots, the crows nest on the cat tree.

‘P’ has to be for Pipsqueak. Although it could also be for Piglet, Peabody, Piper, or Puddles. I’d complained that we had too many cats that started with ‘S’. We had to stop naming new arrivals with an ‘S’ name. And before I knew it, without realizing it, we’d started choosing ‘P’ names.

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The day after CeeCee gave birth to six kittens

We took CeeCee in last year (shorted down from Chatty Cathy, because oh my goodness, did that little girl talk up a storm) about two weeks before she had six black kittens. About a week or two after giving birth, CeeCee came down sick. She probably had a slight virus from outside, and with the stress of nursing six kittens, it hit her with a wallop. She was a tiny little girl, very small, and too young to be a mother of a large litter. (We had her brother, Onyx, so knew her approximate birth, and she was only about seven months old.)

Her kittens also fought with illness, a few got the upper respiratory infection mom had, and most had eye issues. So we were giving meds to mom and all the kittens.

Since all the kittens were black and pretty indistinguishable from one another at that age, when we gave the meds, we’d put all six kittens in one large tub. As we dosed them with their pink medicine, we’d put them in another tub, so we didn’t double dose one and skip another.

When the kittens were about three weeks old, I went to give meds to the runt (they didn’t have names yet) and I realized he was so weak he couldn’t even hold his head up. With six kittens and a tiny mama, he’d evidently been pushed out of the way from nursing too often. My better half agreed, that he was starving, and looking at him warned me that he probably wouldn’t make it through the night. He was that bad.

Oh no. I wasn’t going to give in without a fight. I pulled out the kitten formula and started supplement feeding. The first few times I couldn’t even use the syringe. He was too weak and feeble. So I grabbed the eyedropper and only gave a few drops at a time. Every two hours. I watched the clock with eagle eyes and brought him out for his special meal.

He made it through the night.

The next morning he could start holding up his head. Barely.

By the next day he could stand, although he was very wobbly and bobbly.

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Pipsqueak is the one in the middle

After a few days, when he was starting to thrive, we added Piglet to the special feeding. Piglet wasn’t quite as small as Pipsqueak, but was not as large as the other four, so we thought he needed a little extra also. He was such a greedy little eater, gobbling up every drop we’d send his way, that’s how he ended up with his name.

 

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After mom stopped feeding them – she said ‘Enough is enough!’ we fed them here. Pipsqueak and Piglet were still the two runts of the bunch. (One kitten less, Clyde didn’t make it through his URI.)

And here we are, eleven months later. Pipsqueak and Piglet are not the runts anymore. They ended up being the largest of the litter. And they don’t let anyone stand in their way. They’re bossy little boys that try to rule the roost.

One funny thing with Pipsqueak. After I’d feed him, since he wasn’t in getting licked and bathed after a meal, I’d sit down and do a little mini-body massage on him, to try and simulate the touch he would have gotten from his mama. And now, right after he eats (especially after breakfast), he still wants up to be held and get his extra pets and snuggles.

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In the kitchen, playing with Piper (the gray tabby who is about six weeks older than the kittens). Pipsqueak is at the bowl with Piper. Still the tiniest. (Tho’ not anymore!)

 

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