Back to the cats. They are all male. They came with goopy eyes. Most everything on the Internet said to take your kitty to the vet and be a responsible pet owner... blah blah blah. (The Internet also suggested I not use peanut butter on my mouse traps because the mice might gag and choke... you take what want from it, I suppose.)
- To take care of the eyes, I took a warm wash cloth to clean out their eyes twice a day. I think they bonded to me... the wet wash cloth must have felt like a mommy cat's tongue. Now they won't leave me alone. I also put drops in their eyes. I used some of my kids' pink-eye drops. One drop in each eye, twice a day for two days. I bumped it up to two drops twice a day when their eyeballs didn't fall out, and the goopiness cleared up in about five days. Ryan said that any farm supply store worth it's salt will have OTC antibiotics for animals, usually in paste form. Don't quote me on that fact though, as I had access to my small supply of left over tobramycin.
- I fed them dry cat food, mixed with a little wet for the first week we had them. They got the hang of dry food pretty quickly.
- They don't care for skim milk as much as they do heavy cream. I give them a little cream everyday. Just a little, so they'll stick around and find this to be a happy place.
- We named them Steve. All of them. That way, if one should disappear (hello, coyotes!), the kids won't be too attached to one in particular.
- The kids have done a great job desensitizing them. The rub them, carry them everywhere, sometimes pull their tails (never okay and always get busted for that one...), and generally call them "kitty" and try to nickname them, and put them on stuff. Tricycles, baskets, and the fence are some favorites.
- They are sleeping in our trailer in one of the under compartments. They are off the ground and have a safe place to get away from the kids, if needed. At first we locked them up so their little mews wouldn't attract bigger prey animals. After a few weeks we leave the door open on their "house."
- They came trained for a litterbox. There is a box in their house, but in the next few weeks I'm going to spread some kitty litter on the ground and see if they'll start using one of the vast area of our dirt property.
I am happy to report that one of the cats caught it's first mouse two days ago. Yipee!!! They are earning their keep. I haven't had a rodent in my trailer since we've had them. What a relief!