I am extraordinarily exhausted.
For the past two weeks, I haven’t slept through the night. Instead, I’ve been getting up every two hours. For these two extraordinary little things:
I’ve raised many kittens in my time, but most of them have been at least 2-3 weeks old when I get them. But this time, a feral mama cat had a litter in my barn. When I found them, they were only a few hours old, scattered across the barn, freezing cold and weak from hunger. There were four, but I lost two the first weekend.
But these two have hung in there. Today, they are 16 days old. Meet Maximus Imperius (with the white) and Tiny.
Extraordinarily cute? Yes. Extraordinarily loud? YES.
Their eyes are finally starting to open. Before long, they’ll begin crawling with more purpose. Sleeping less. Of course, I won’t have to feed them quite so often, either! And I can sleep a bit more.
But there is something about those 4am feedings, when you pull them out of the box and they fight and struggle and finally latch on to the bottle and heave this tiny little kitten sigh of relief that one more time, they are being fed and cared for . . . you realize you’re the only thing standing between them and death. Literally. They are virtually blind and deaf, even at two weeks, though that will start to change over the next week. You hold them in your hand, watch those tiny front paws working furiously against the air as they nurse, watch those tiny ears working back and forth, their little eyes close in bliss . . .