I typically give her wet food in the morning, just like I do with everyone else. (I leave dry food out all day for everybody, but too much wet food rots cats' teeth) As a nursing Mom, I know she needs to eat more than the average cat. But rather than just put canned food out at random, I rely on Gracie to tell me when she wants it. She'll usually do this by running to me when I enter the room, followed by going to her wet food dish and meowing at me.
She also tells me when she wants her litter cleaned out. (I scoop it twice a day, but there are moments when she's got business in there that she doesn't want to have to work around) This morning as I was getting dressed she went to her litter box, meowed at me and tapped at the litter with one of her paws.
"What do you need, Gracie?" I asked her.
"Mr-r-r-row," she repeated, again patting the litter.
"Oh okay," I said and scooped out a clump. Sure enough when I was done she got in.
The best was yesterday morning. Remember when Gracie tried to put her babies in my closet? Well at about 7:30 a.m. Tina and I awoke to the sound of the closet door rattling. We looked over and saw that Gracie had wedged her paw in one of the doors, slid it open and was moving her babies inside one by one.
I got up and went over to her as she was placing the third baby in the corner. "What are you doing?" I asked her.
She trotted out of the closet and over to the baby box. "Mr-r-row!" she answered.
She got into the box, stood over the babies and meowed at me again. Then she got out of the box and went to her other babies in the closet. I took that to mean she wanted me to move the last two babies, so I did. Sure enough, when I placed them inside next to their siblings, she started purring and sat next to them. We really should have named her "Lassie."
"I guess she really wants them in there, huh?" Tina said, yawning. "She probably thinks it's warmer in the closet."
Rather than fight Gracie on it, I decided to buy her and the babies a little bed to fit inside. They love it!
I also got Gracie a bunch of new toys. You'd have thought it was Christmas morning! She went NUTS over all the fake mice and scratch board.
In baby news, we're a little worried about the runt (We're calling him/her Rory because as Tina pointed out, the baby looks like one of those Rorschach ink blot tests. We're also referring to Rory as "she" for now). She's literally half the size of the other babies and isn't getting as furry.
She's on the right, if you couldn't already tell
She's not as aggressive at feeding time as her siblings, so we've been trying to help her out by keeping the other babies away while she's nursing so that they don't step all over her. I also bought her KMR formula, but she's not taking to the bottle too well. Hopefully our helping her with nursing will be enough.
This morning Rory's brothers and sisters all snuggled on her in a cuddle pile to help keep her warm:
You can see her little head on the left
I'm continually amazed at how sharp cats' instincts are, even at just says old.
I really hope it all turns out fine. I have a space heater in the room as well for when it gets chilly at night and we're constantly checking on Rory to monitor her progress. I think she'll be fine since she's made it this far, but still... she just looks so fragile.