God damn it, kittens.

I cannot believe myself. For SECOND there, I was figuring how fast I could make it to Lansing and back, and naming one of the little boogers.

Caught myself just in time. Of course, if NO rescue shelter appears on your horizon soon, you’ll let me know, right?

::Off to think up a good, believable story for the Wife::

Around here the only shelter contracts for a set price with counties. Someone will bring in an abandond cat with kittens and that is all for the month. Everybody else is told too bad. I figure at that point you dump them on their yard since they’re not yours, and I wouldn’t go back home with them.The animal shelter went to a strict no kill policy, and is like one of those cat houses with 150 cats. I believe thay expect to get $200 from the county for each cat turned in, and they can’t figure why a number of counties have told them forget it. I find more and more that the shelters have to get rid of the good pets to store animals involed in trials. They care for these animals up to a year. The police shut down a dog fighting breeder operation a week ago, and they are keeping thess vicious animals until the trial is over. There are people requesting these dogs, that are suspected of being dog fight participants.

How wonderful that you came to their rescue!

A little advice for whoever adopts them–straight milk will make them sick. Believe it or not, cats are lactose intolerant. But here’s a recipe (from here) for “Kitty Glop,” a nutritious supplement commonly used on aging cats and orphaned kttens:

I don’t want make you feel bad, but are you sure they were abandoned? We have a wild house cat living near our place, she only comes around when she is about to pop a litter of kittens to feast on the bounty of cat food :slight_smile: we have outside. Watching her move her little brood from place to place is an interesting lesson in cat fearfulness. She has spent 6 or more hours moving 5 kittens just over 200 feet away from their original location.

Sometimes she tries to get the kittens to follow her, and other times she wants them to stay behind while she moves one. Kittens don’t always listen to mommy. I don’t want you to feel bad, but maybe, they weren’t abandoned but your car scared the mom from coming back while you “rescued” the kittens.

Adult cats are lactose intolerant. But I rather doubt kittens are - why wouldn’t cat’s milk contain lactose? Other mammalian milk does - it’s at least not limited to cows, since humans produce lactose.

I thought about that too, but it seemed unlikely. They were all in a group on the road. Like they had been left on the side by someone and had ventured a few feet onto the road - or maybe they’d just been left in the middle of it. Every time I’ve seen a mother cat with kittens, she hides them somewhere sort of tucked away (the same sorts of places cats generally like to sleep.) If I’d found one or two that had ventured off, it might have made sense - but all five? They left the nest en masse to sit in the middle of the road? And then they were so desperate that they attempted to climb the first creature they saw? It didn’t seem likely. And even if they have a mother, they still could easily have gotten run over had I left them over night. If they had a mother who was feral, then I got them young enough to domesticate them, which probably means a considerably better life anyway.

Even if this is the case, it’s still better that they were picked up, especially since they’re young enough to be socialized to humans, and so have a chance at a happy life indoors without the opportunity to make more unwanted kittens, rather than a short, miserable life as a feral cat constantly producing more feral cats.

Even if the kittens were born wild or half feral***** I would still say they are MUCH better off being taken in, fostered and getting a loving home. Feral cats don’t live very long.

[SUB]*****which I very much doubt given that they weren’t afraid of humans and went to the first one they could for help. They wouldn’t do that if they were feral. They are used to humans, so were probably dumped.[/SUB]

You know, Excalibre…it’s actions like this that make me rethink opinions formed in The Pit. Ya done good. The God of Kittens will remember you kindly.

Good on you, Excalibre, for doing the right thing.

Last year, we drove to an elk reserve in the central valley of California. While parked at an observation site, we saw a truck drive past, and peeking over the side of the back of the truck was a cute little whiskery white dog face. We joked about the “big hunting dog” someone was taking for a ride. After a few minutes, we proceeded along the same dirt road. About a mile along the road, we saw that same little white dog, a little black bitch, and their eight puppies abandoned in the middle of the road. Obviously, the truck driver’s sole intent was to dump the whole family of dogs in the elk preserve. We were driving a small car with no room for all the dogs, so we drove immediately to a nearby ranger’s station and told them what happened. They were pissed! They took a truck right away and picked up all the doggies and told us they would call the local humane society and turn them over. One of the rangers evinced an interest in adopting a pup or two - I hope she did.

Just thinking about that day makes my stomach turn all over again.

Cats and kittens usually don’t tolerate cow’s milk well - it has a much, much higher fat content than cat’s milk and can cause diarrhea. A bad case of diarrhea can kill a small kitten.

No bad on you, Excalibre, I know you weren’t out looking for kittens to feed cow’s milk to! Just general information for cat-lovers everywhere. Every vet I’ve worked for has had at least 10 kittens a year brought in with milk-induced diarrhea.

Thanks, I’ll remember that. Makes sense.

They were old enough that they ate actual cat food quite eagerly as well in the morning, so they haven’t been on a milk-only diet.

Though actually, come to think of it, it was skim milk, since that’s all we had. :slight_smile:

Both breaks your heart and makes you happy, to see them digging in like that. At least you were able to feed them, but man, the fact that they were starving…

I don’t want to start a war, but amimals used for research have to be geneticly normal. Labs do not buy strays, no matter what the ALF folks would like you to believe.

I’m hoping it was just, you know, growing kittens with big appetites. They fortunately didn’t look obviously undernourished or anything - just damp and screamy. I really don’t want to imagine that they were sitting out there hungry for a long time.

The funny part is how distinct their personalities obviously are, even at this age. The two orange ones, upon being set loose in my mother’s house, immediately began investigating the room, and the dog, and my mother’s cat. The dog obviously recognized that they were infants, and seemed to show some mixture of fascination with them and nervousness, maybe about accidentally hurting them. The calico, meanwhile, was incredibly friendly and climbing all over the two of us, while the gray-and-white tabbies were mostly staying put (and those two are the ones that hid from me when I tried to pick them up.)

Ah-ha! That’s what I meant. :wink: Well, sorta. I knew that a cow’s-milk-only-diet is bad for kittens and causes diarrhea; the lactose-intolerant thing I’d heard several times over in various cat message boards and whatnot. Anyway, again, no bad on you–you are a Kitty Saint!!–I was just offering the formula recipe so you didn’t inadvertantly have a mess on your hands (kitten diarrhea x 5 = YUCK). :slight_smile:

Pet, cuddle, and play with the black and white kitties for me! (Both of our cats are B&W.) And heck, love on the other three for good measure.

Excalibre, sometimes I think you’re a right bastard (:)), but I’m also a cat person, so in case you’re keeping a tally or something, you’re OK by me.

Don’t I know it. When staying motel, I found a kitten about 8 weeks old, which I kept in my room overnight. There not being any stores around for proper kitten food, and not knowing any better, I let it have it’s fill of milk. I cleaned up after her the best I could, but I don’t think the maid was very happy with me in the morning.

You know, you take 6 hours off your time in purgatory every time you rescue a kitten. It’s true!

I just got a new kitten myself. Lady Chance tells me all seven of his brothers and sisters were taken by one person ahead of her in line in a box. Good luck to them. Here’s hoping they were headed to a farm or something.

I’m glad that they’re finding homes. It’s not housekeeping without a cat.

I worked in a vet clinic over the summer when I was fifteen.

Trust me, I know from kitten diarrhea. :slight_smile: We had a lot of kittens, and it seemed to me that kittens would get diarrhea for no reason at all. I think it was a hobby or something. (That or maybe there’s a lot of owners giving them too much milk.)

The clinic had a litter of three kittens once that had diarrhea and ringworm. And being kittens, they weren’t exactly capable of keeping clean.

I had the task of washing the little things to get the diarrhea and encrusted litter out of their fur. Anyone who’s handled kittens knows that their claws and teeth are amazingly sharp. They went right through my gloves.

So a week later, I leave for a vacation. To Portugal. And there’s a little itchy spot on my hand. I thought it was dry skin. It was a little red.

It got worse. By a few days after we arrived in Lisbon, it was starting to look a bit scaly. And it was seriously itchy. I decided to just hope it would go away on its own.

It didn’t. A few days later, while we were in Porto, it got bad enough that I realized I had to be treated.

Now, my knowledge of Portuguese was limited to asking for a hotel room and faking what I could with my (not particularly good at the time) Spanish. I ended up going to a pharmacist, showing it to him, and I think I said, “I need a cream for this.” Friendly old man, like a neighborhood pharmacist on a TV commercial. He scraped up enough English to ask me how I liked Portugal. And apparently he figured out what I had, although I didn’t know how to say “ringworm” in Portuguese and he clearly didn’t know how to say it in English.

Fortunately the cream he gave me seemed to work. It got better over the next few days. I still have no idea what it was.

Damn fungus-covered kittens.