The first picture was taken when they were home from the shelter, and just back from the emergency veterinarian. They both had horrible upper respiratory infections, and Buddy was the most vulnerable. Bella seemed to have given up, and it was heartbreaking for us. Dave and I don't shy away from challenges, and so we decided that these little ones were going to get better on our watch. I got up early to give them their antibiotics, give them human baby food in a syringe mixed with cat milk replacer, and just cuddle them. During the day, Dave took them into the bathroom and ran the shower to help with their breathing. In the meantime, our other cats became ill, despite our keeping the kittens separate, and we had vet bills so high I needed to borrow money from our 401K. Life was very stressfull during July-August 2009. Our senior cat, Tristan, caught the same cold and we could only isolate him in the bathroom. It broke my heart because Tristan was my longtime pet of 12 years at that time and I was so worried about him. He responded to the antibiotics immediately. Ten days after we brought Buddy and Bella home, I was syring-feeding Bella, and she lapped up food that had spilled onto my hand. I put some food on a plate, and she lapped that up. That was the end of her needing to be force-fed with a syringe! While we still had to keep the new kittens separate, every time we entered the room from that point on, she threw her head back and gave a very tiny mew at us to ask for attention. She still does that, and we just melt, no matter how often she does it. Buddy recovered a few days before Bella, and now weighs 15 pounds and looks mostly like a tabby cat. They are our miracle babies, and always remind me of what I can accomplish "on our watch."
Everyone have a great weekend, and please hug and pet your kitties.