August 20 was the day I decided Mimi and her babies had to move from their cage on my studio work table to the bathroom. At about three weeks they were growing fast and Mimi was feeling stressed in such a little space. During the day she was out of the cage but I let her in there every few hours when she wanted to nurse and eat and let her out again when she asked, then closed her in overnight. But I worked out a way to set up the bathroom doorway with screens she could hop over so she could get in and out and the kittens could not, plus they could get more air than if the door was closed all the time. I used two of the screens from my old casement windows hinged over the doorway like shutters and held closed with a binder clip at the top.
This was also when I decided I had to mark them somehow to identify them more easily as individuals. They had all looked nearly alike until now when their ears began to move upright and they began growing at different rates. Still concerned about FIP, I wanted to keep track of everything I could as well as possible, and wanted to have a way to track any incidents among them. So that day I decided to start with my non-toxic tempera paints, a dab on their right ears, keeping the colors consistent: yellow was the young Mr. Sunshine, then known as Luciano, green was the budding opera star Giuseppe Verdi, and red was the big bold girl Mewsette—Jelly Bean’s white spots and white ear hair were much more prominent so I decided he didn’t need a spot. Read more about the significance of the paint on their ears.
While Mimi had of course been nursing them, she seemed a little stressed as they grew. August was hot, this was her second litter that year, and she was adjusting to a new feline family and a new lifestyle. Her wet and dry kitten food was available to her all the time—Cookie, Kelly, Namir and Peaches never once hopped the screens to get into the room and steal food—but I also purchased some KMR to mix for her and for the kittens to lap from a dish, mixing some wet food into it and in a few days they were nibbling the wet food and lapping KMR as well as nursing. Mimi was grateful.
They were ready for the new space! Even the litterbox was exciting!
And they got to meet my feet! Up to that time they’d only seen me from the waist up and touched me when I picked them up.
And hide under my skirts! Often all four of them would run under my skirt and wrestle, which was impossible to photograph. Every once in a while they still do that today!
The little tails make me smile.
Photos pulled “From the Archives” were taken by one or another digital camera of mine between 2002 and, well, yesterday, but usually they are older than that, and I had never had the chance to feature them. Vintage photos were taken on film at any time back to 1983 when I first got my Pentax K1000, and a few from before that from photos I found in my family’s house. They’re a fun way to “introduce” other members of my feline family who came and went before I began blogging, and to illustrate my feline family in general from days gone by.
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!