Monday, July 4, 2011

Tonight is a Three-Kitten/One Old Cat/One Young Dog Night

It has been incredibly busy on my end of the world these days -- yes, being unemployed can mean being productive, just not in an office for a company. Being an unemployed project manager means you're juggling multiple projects, even some with conflicting priorities. In a scrum environment, I'd be my own product owner, scrum master and Team, all rolled into one.

So I've been busy.

Now, to add to it all, friends of mine found a litter of three (most likely) feral, newborn kittens. I knew immediately that they couldn't have been more than 48 hours old. A quick Google search confirmed this, as they still have their umbilical cords. My friends didn't know what to do, except to call me: "She'll know what to do," they said. And, generally, they'd be right.

I've never had the sole care of newborn kittens, however. It's moments like these when I thank the stars there is a such thing as the interweb. I am now a baby kitten feeding, eliminating, disinfecting, nest-making machine.

The tasks themselves are not only time-consuming and physically draining, but is also daunting on some intangible, karmic kind of level. Newborns abandoned by their mothers generally have a high mortality rate: they don't have the benefit of the immune-system-building goodness that mother's milk provides; they may have any number of bacteria or parasites without anyone knowing yet; they may simply fail to thrive...

The responsibility is nearly overwhelming. So I focus on one task at a time (i.e., boil water to clean bottles; warm up the milk, etc.) to keep things in nice, small do-able pieces. It turns out that hand-raising newborn kittens can be an iterative process, too.

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