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We found the kitten in wet grass late Friday afternoon, with its umbilical cord attached and its eyes still shut.

We named her Shadow, in honor of our black cat who died several months ago, and have been feeding her by hand since then, every three hours, through day and night.

It’s not an easy process, because a big, hairless person wielding a plastic nipple filled with a mix of water and a white powder almost certainly feels nothing like her furry mother providing her own nice warm milk.

Why are you shoving this horrible thing into my mouth?

Why are you shoving this horrible thing into my mouth?

Shadow often turns her head away from the nipple, so some cunning is required.

I squeeze a little drop of milk out of the nipple somewhere in the direction of her always-turning, often shut, mouth, and hope she is inspired to try for more.  If she opens her mouth to mew, I gently put the nipple into her mouth.  Sometimes she sucks, mostly she doesn’t, so I do this thing where I try to squirt small amounts of milk into her mouth which she might or might not swallow.  She always ends up with a lot of milk around her mouth.eyes open

But by keeping at it, we’re getting about 5 mils of milk down her every three hours, and she seems to be doing okay.

My 13yo has perfected the technique.  Click on this link to see her feeding little Shadow:

Feeding our young kitten by hand

 

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