June 12, 2021
Lawrence, US 85 F
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Andromeda’s kittens: At 4 weeks, growing, learning, and climbing

Note from the Times: Olivia Schwyhart, of Lawrence, has been documenting the growth of seven little gray kittens born at the beginning of April 2021. She’s been sharing photos on the Instagram account andromeda.beans, and the Times asked her if she would be willing to write about them in a series for our publication. 

Follow along with Andromeda’s kittens as they grow on their Instagram account, and learn a little bit more from their human mom here and in other posts on The Lawrence Times’ website.

Other editions:

1 — April 17, 2021: Catching up with Andromeda’s kittens: Birth through 2 weeks

2 — April 24, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 3 weeks, a little less wobbly

3 — May 1, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 4 weeks, growing, learning, and climbing

4 — May 8, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 5 weeks, no pen too high to climb

5 — May 15, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 6 weeks, big enough to get their own room

6 — May 22, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 7 weeks, they’ve reached the top of the cat tree

7 — May 29, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 8 weeks, some start to leave the nest

8 — June 5, 2021: Andromeda’s kittens: At 9 weeks, babies and mama heading to new homes

4 weeks old: Instincts taking over, and climbing skills improving

The first half of this week was much like last week. They are still exploring their nursery pen and getting used to moving around. We started to see them playing with each other, grooming each other and biting my toes when I sit with them. 

The last couple of days, I have noticed them climbing higher and higher on their enclosure’s walls. We used wire cube shelf grates and zip tied them together so it’s only about a foot tall.

Friday night, a couple of them managed to escape. We have other cats in the house who may be a danger to them, so that was a big no-no. My sister and I scrambled to create a new layout on the pen that’s more secure. I think it turned out pretty good, even though it’s hacked together a bit. 

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Momma kitty seems less interested in nursing them, but she still sits down briefly every four to five hours. We had to pick up the slack by hand-feeding them a bit more.

Friday, we started weaning them by offering kitten formula in a bowl instead of a syringe. A few figured out how to lick up the milk immediately, but the rest might still take a few days to get it.

It’s really amazing to see how much instinct takes over as they grow and learn. 

Will the others learn to drink out of the saucer? (We think so. We believe in them!)

Look for more on Andromeda’s kittens soon, and happy Caturday!

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