Mac and Cheese were only a week old when rescuers found them. Their mother was gone, and their littermates had passed away.
It took a village of kind people to ensure these two tiny ginger kittens would have a chance at life. It’s so impressive that so many caring people came together for two tiny kittens, but it happens many times daily.
In late spring, prime kitten season, rescuers, including Wrenn Rescues, CAAT friends, and Jen the Kitten Agent in Southern California, joined forces to save the tiny ginger kittens. Then they went to a foster home that has partnered with Wrenn for over three years.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work for Mac and Cheese
It was on April 24 that the foster providers at Catastical Meows introduced Mac and Cheese. These two were the tiniest neos or neonates, barely a week old. So they would need round-the-clock bottle feeding and a warm incubator if they had any hopes of survival.
At such a young age, it’s always touch and go with kittens. Rescuers must be vigilant for all kinds of problems that can become serious quickly. In this case, the kittens were “teeny, wobbly neos” who would face many challenges.
For example, little Mac remained puny even with feedings every 2 hours. Also, the kittens needed to be kept apart because, without their mama, their instinctual sucking behavior can be harmful. They can even begin to attempt to nurse on each other! It caused poor Mac to develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). He also had a possible upper respiratory infection (URI).
Fortunately, Mac recovered by about 15 days old.
“He is tiny but mighty and really content and happy, he purrs and rolls around after each feed. Not completely out of the yuck with them, but we are happy with how they are doing now!”
Until the suckling behavior was no longer dangerous, Mac and Cheese stayed separated but could see each other. Nevertheless, they often protested their accommodations in the incubator. Mac tried using a Jedi mind trick to get his young foster provider to take him out for “belly scritches.”
Meanwhile, Mac’s other half, Cheese, was in the same boat, puny with tummy troubles. As his little eyes were just opening, they had to do warm compresses to cure a “nice yucky” mild infection. But thankfully, Cheese improved with all the TLC, remaining just slightly smaller than Mac.
Mac and Cheese Together at Last
By about 4 weeks old, Mac and Cheese were ready to be together. Right away, they made up for lost time and had an epic wrestling match. The fosterers closely monitored the kitten’s interactions since the suckling behavior would resume near feeding time. But by now, they were better able to give a well-placed slap.
Wrenn Rescues Inc. shared Mac and Cheese’s kitten wrestling match.
“Is there anything more adorable than tiny kittens play wrestling? 😻 I don’t think so! Saw this video from foster Catastical Meows and knew I had to add some mortal combat 😂 ,” they shared.
A Positive Test for Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV)
Since the beginning, Mac and Cheese had digestive issues and abnormal poops. A trip to the vet showed Mac had Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) or “panleuk.” It was a “gut punch” for the fosterers. Thanks to vaccines for kittens over 6 weeks old, FPV disease is not as common as it was and doesn’t affect humans. But it can be deadly for young kittens. They also had coccidiosis caused by microscopic organisms.
Both kittens received medications to be on the safe side. Once again, Mac and Cheese beat the odds and continued to do well with lots of food, water, rest, and playtime. As you can see, Cheese was soon doing very well indeed, with a plump little potato belly to show. This is a generally normal and ridiculously cute phase as kittens grow so fast.
Who doesn’t love the potato phase? (As always, it’s best to talk to a vet with any concerns.)
As the kittens grew, Mac served his own medicine on social media.
“Dr. Mac at your service. Hard day? Too much heaviness in the news and social media? Feeling lost? Anxiety? Don’t lose hope, I am here to help! Take one dose of cute Mac and call me in the morning! 🧡🧡”
When they weren’t playing hard or exploring, the kittens snuggled like one kitten with 2 heads. Talk about sharing a close bond.
“Introducing….the 2-headed ginger kitten…Mac and Cheese! 😹 Snuggliest, sweetest purr machines around!”
Ready to Take Their Cheesy Goodness to a New Home
The fosterers described Cheese as “100% the creamiest, dreamiest slice of love” while Mac was “killing it on the cuteness meter” and “equal parts sweetness, sass, craziness and snuggles!” By late June, the 2-headed ginger kitten was ready to join the other foster kittens for adoption. Where did all the time go?
As they waited for their forever home together, the kittens worked as part-time “laundry assistants.”
“Two very UN-helpful laundry assistants”
In late July, the kittens were of age to be neutered. Immediately afterward, they just wanted to play and wrestle as usual. Soon after, they found their forever home and will live in an “amazing home,” the fosterers shared.
“They went from teeny, wobbly neos to crazy sweet kittens. They are now in their forever home, TOGETHER!! They join a doggie sibling and are living their best life!” they said.
Pumpkin and Spice, Anyone?
It’s always bittersweet to see the furbabies grow up, but by September, the fosterers welcomed two more teeny ginger nuggets. At 5 weeks old, they were underweight, but no doubt they will get the best care and love like the kittens before them.
“Please welcome Pumpkin and Spice.”