Today -- which is Labor Day in the U.S.A. and Canada -- Smokey and Bandit turn three weeks old. It has been a personal joy for me to watch them as they have grown since that first night three weeks ago.
Speaking of their birth, here is a point which you might find interesting. The kittens were born on August 15th. If we count backwards sixty-three days -- or nine weeks, which is the usual feline gestation period -- that means that Socks the Cat became impregnated by some neighborhood tomcat either the very day that my daughter brought her home, or possibly the day before that. Talk about perfect timing!
As I noted in earlier blog entries, when Socks the Cat came to "temporarily" live with us for two weeks, she had a very fresh bloody wound on the nape of her neck. While my daughter attributed it to a friend's dog, I eventually realized what had actually caused the wound, as Socks' girth began to grow in size, and other signs appeared, such as morning sickness, her fascination with dark closets, etc.
Both of the above pictures were taken on the top edge of the living room couch. Taking Bandit's three-week birthday picture was rather easy. I just snapped a few, and hoped that at least one of them would turn out good, or at least decent enough to post on my blog. Smokey was a whole different story. I had to have three different picture-taking sessions with him in order to get a half-decent image, and even then, it is still blurry.
Right before I took Smokey's picture, I cleaned his infected eye so that it would be open during picture time. The thing is, every time I clean his eye, without fail, Smokey falls asleep right in my hand. He is just that comfortable with me.
I actually had another picture of Smokey that I was going to include with this blog entry in which he is sleeping all curled up in my hand. However, as cute as it is, I felt that the bright-eyed picture of Bandit would outshine Smokey. So, I cleaned Smokey's eye a second time, and snapped some pictures of him on the top of the couch as well. Poor little guy . . . he complained the whole time. He just kept moving around too much on the top of the cushion, as he tried to figure out how to get down from that precarious place.
Yesterday night -- Sunday, September 4th -- marked another milestone in the lives of sibling kittens Smokey and Bandit. Shortly before midnight, I was awoken by the cries of one of the kittens in the living room. Getting out of bed to investigate, I found my daughter and Socks in the living room.
But what surprised me the most was that both Smokey and Bandit were gingerly wandering around the living room, quite a ways from their birthing box, as Socks watched over them in her usual motherly fashion. While the kittens have been leaving the comfort of their birthing box for the past several days, this was no doubt their biggest adventure yet. Not only that, but they had picked up a bit of speed in their walk since earlier that morning.
I must confess that I find their early endeavors at walking a bit comical, due to their oversized paws -- which is even more apparent with Bandit, because her paws are white -- and because their legs just seem too long for their short, little bodies. Again, this is more apparent with Bandit who remains a little larger than Smokey, and who is physiologically more advanced as well. Oddly enough, while Bandit was the first to stretch her little legs, it is Smokey who quite often comes out of the birthing box first, looking for mama's milk.
Concerning Smokey's infected eye, I have continued to clean it several times a day with boiled water and gauze. It gums up rather quickly afterwards due to the accumulation of pus; but until I can arrange a ride to the pet store in order to purchase some proper medication, this treatment will have to suffice for now. It doesn't seem to bother him all that much, and he appears to be very healthy otherwise. He is just as active as his older sister, Bandit, and just as loud, and when it comes to feeding time, he is not one to let her bully him around, although she sometimes tries to do exactly that. Bandit can be a real stinker in spite of her obvious cuteness.
I imagine that within a short amount of time, both Smokey and Bandit will be running all around the house. For now, as a safety precaution, I have placed two night lights in the living room, as well as one in the kitchen, just to make sure that we can see the kittens on the floor in the dark.
In preparation for the near future, this morning I also took an old, rectangular, plastic basin out of the hallway closet. I intend to make some kind of a simple ramp, and use it to litter box train Smokey and Bandit. The basin isn't as tall as Socks' litter box. When the time comes to use it, it will no doubt be a tricky situation, because I don't want to confuse Socks regarding which is the proper place for her to take care of her toilet needs.
Well, that will wrap up today's account of Socks, and her two kittens, Smokey and Bandit. I hope that you haven enjoyed reading it.