Monday, May 16, 2005
Yes, I do have my hands full!
The seven tiny feral kittens survived another night. I fed them more evaporated milk from the bottle, and a triangle of cream cheese first thing and they went back to sleep again. At 8am I walked to our PO Box since I hadn't been there for a few days - Daniel's expecting a couple of parcels from ebay, but they hadn't yet arrived. However I was pleased to find another parcel from Play.com with the books which were dispatched about ten days ago.
The pet shop near the PO box was open by 8.30 so I went in there and asked if they had any Lactol or other kitten milk. The owner didn't speak much English, but clearly knew what Lactol was; however he said he didn't have it, or any other milk for cats. He said they had stopped importing it. However he did sell me some dry food intended for very young kittens, between one and three months old. There are instructions on it in several languages, although unfortunately there's no English (or French, which I could probably have translated). But I could guess at enough Italian to work out that this food needs to be mixed with water. I can try that in another week or so.
I decided to try another pet shop anyway, and to my relief I saw two containers of Lactol almost as soon as I walked in! I don't know if this means they're left over from before importing stopped, or whether the first shop owner simply meant that his shop wasn't getting it any longer. Anyway I bought some, and another little feeding bottle as it would be easier to have two.
Daniel was in Nicosia this morning with a theatre group performance, but Tim had his oral music lesson as usual. We told his teacher about the kittens on her way out, and she said that the Cat Protection League charity shop downtown will take unwanted or feral cats to one of the cat sanctuaries. She thinks they probably need to be weaned first, but that's OK: at this age they're fun to feed and play with. Feral cats usually stop being cute by the time they're a few months old but it does concern me that these kittens may become too dependent on humans. If they could go to a sanctuary where cats can be free, but still somewhat looked after, I should think that would be ideal.
Tim took the photo above after they had been fed around 11am. They were all very playful, and spent a lot of time pouncing on each other and rustling leaves, and experimentally washing themselves. The latter was quite amusing as they tended to overbalance, but at least they're getting the idea. Suddenly some of them came and climbed on me even though they were no longer hungry - probably we should discourage that but it's very difficult as they're so adorable at this stage! I'm putting out a shallow container of water and one of them even managed to lap some of it, so that's encouraging too.
Dan just phoned to say he's still in Nicosia. He wanted to buy some clarinet pads from a shop he knows there, so the theatre folk dropped him off nearby. He said he'd had something to eat and was waiting till the shop opened at 2.30 (most places close over lunchtime here) and will then get a service (shared taxi) or bus home.