<3 The Fuzzballs <3
"During that time, I make them whole. And in return, they make me whole."
This is a happy story. This is one I got right. This is a story without an ending...
... My foster babies arrived during an exceptionally hard time in my life. Emotionally I was drained, my heart was broken, my life was full of chaos and my days were long. My own furry kiddos were battling severe issues of their own and I was a mess, and when I heard there were five week old kittens in need of hand rearing, I begged to get my hands on them. "This is what I need", I thought, "to experience the joy of a beginning... to watch life through eyes so new".
I originally named the wee ones Pink, Green, Blue, Limey and my oh-so-dearest Purple. They were impossible to tell apart and so their tails got marked accordingly.
Little did I know that these wee ones would be a battle all their own. Having never hand reared a litter before, eveything was a learning curve. I spent the first weeks terrified that they had fading kitten syndrome, as my poor kittens were all suffering from terrible, violent diarrhea. & no... that is in no way an exaggeration. These poor dears had diarrhea so bad it shot across the sink at bath time. Projectile diarrhea... no other description comes close.
Sweet Purple was also determined to break me by trying to nurse the other kittens in "naughty areas", which resulted in kittens peeing everywhere and naughty Purple usually found with a head covered in fecal matter. Again...no exaggeration. So, between the diarrhea and Purple's naughty nursing, I was having to bathe dirty kittens at least three times daily and feed them every few hours. I was in over my head before I knew what hit me, getting 1-2 hours of interrupted sleep per day and was utterly exhausted.
Finally though, the rough weeks faded and the rewards came trickling in. Feedings became easier... They made the progression easily to solid foods... Purple stopped "nursing"... The diarrhea ended and they *finally* got the hang of litterbox usage. Personalities and markings became more apparent, and I was finally able to soak up all the joy only kittens can bring.
Eventually pink became "Neko", blue became "Abby", green became "Bear", limey became "Tajo" and purple-monster became "Rosie". I watched them learn to crawl, learn to play, to jump and simply enjoy life. I ended each day sleeping in a cardboard pen with kittens snuggled in every nook and cranny. And I realized that one of the greatest joys in life might just be laying with five kittens purring on your chest at the end of a hard day... kittens who come to think of you as their mom.
I had a few wonderful months with these balls of joy before we parted, and as hard as it was in the beginning, they were worth every second of it. Through all the fears of having five tiny lives in my hands, all depending on me while I blundered time and time again, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Even having to let them go at the end, with tears a plenty... it was worth every second.
And so Neko, Abby, Bear, Tajo & *always to me* Purple-monster... I hope you ended up on the right path. I hope you found loving companions and cozy homes to call your own. I hope each of you has the most wonderful journey...
....and I hope it's long from done. <3