After sending her latest bunch of adorable foster babies off to find furever homes, Deborah from Chicago took in a solo one-week-old kitten, later named Speed Bump. The foster mom chose the name just because it’s adorable. Previously, we shared the story of Deborah’s tuxie kittens with cute names, Underoo and the Underpants Bunch.
In this case, the kitten seemed to live up to her name, a little slow to reach kitten milestones. She needed a furriend, but until she could meet another foster kitten, she would bond with plush buddies.
And, the kitten once did an impression of a speed bump too!
“Here’s a sweet pic of Speed Bump doing her very best impression of a speed bump,” Kitten Smitten shared.
Speed Bump the Tabico
Sadly, the tiny girl was all alone after her sibling passed away at an Indiana shelter. However, she was feisty with a big appetite, and Deborah thought she was “pure perfection.” She made “micro-purrs” and “baby biscuits” as she rolled all over in the incubator.
“I picked up a new baby today, and I am not exaggerating when I say she’s pretty much pure perfection,” she shared.
Speed Bump has a “schmear” of orange on her face and some white on her belly, but the rest is tabby, thus a “faux calico,” as the foster mom humorously put it. You might call this color combo a tabico similar to torbies, a mix of tortoiseshell and tabby colors. (Like our own cuties, Jugg and Zig Zag.)
Deborah was thrilled to see the baby greedily drinking 12 ml of formula from the syringe, even though she weighed barely 150g. She shared an informative video that is sped up to show one feeding session in 60 seconds. It gives you an idea of what caring for neonatal kittens can be like, requiring regular round-the-clock feedings.
“Start to finish, the whole process takes maaaybe 5 minutes,” Deborah explained. “She gets fed every 2-3 hours, but those overnight feedings aren’t so bad when you’ve got a great little eater like this! Over the next week, her eyes will open, our play sessions will gradually grow longer, and she’ll work up to enjoying a little ‘tummy time’ with me down on the floor.”
Speed Bump Meets New Plushie Furriends
Since Speed Bump was a lone kitten, the foster mom and her daughter wanted to give her some company until she could be safely paired with another kitten. First, they gave her a little plush ghost at Halloween, crocheted by hand by the daughter. She also had a stuffed toy in her incubator, which may have a heartbeat and warmth like a Calmeroos cat.
Then, the kitten met more plush friends at the babysitter’s home for a weekend.
Warning: The cuteness is extreme.
When Speed Bump returned home, she brought her favorite mouse plushie home with her.
Auditions for Plush Buddies
Then, the foster mom introduced more plush friends to the kitten. In the meantime, she continued to search for another foster kitten to rescue. Speed Bump seemed to love each one of the plush buddies, so it’s not clear who won the auditions.
“Speed Bump has been auditioning new plush buddies today. 🥺”
We warned you the cuteness was extreme.
Here is the little one cradling her plushie beneath a sunflower.
It looks like she needed a close look at this bluebird’s wing.
Below, we’re not sure if she’s holding this plushie like a teddy bear or trying to kill it with her murder mittens. Maybe both.
A Quirky Purrsonality Emerges
At four weeks old, Speed Bump’s quirky purrsonality emerged. She would stare at her foster mom and roll around, flailing her legs in the air “like she just don’t care,” among other quirks. She was slow to reach milestones like walking, following her mom’s voice, learning to meow for attention, or weaning from the bottle. It wasn’t concerning but an observation from years of fostering, she explained.
She was a little different since she was a solo baby without siblings who teach each other “how to cat” as they grow. Deborah joked that she may have inadvertently influenced the kitten’s personality with her name choice “because she’s been a bit, um…slooooow to reach certain developmental milestones.” Whatever the case, she was perfect just the way she was.
“Would Speed Bump still be like this if she had to ‘compete’ with littermates for milkies, toys, and my attention? 🤷🏻♀️ Hard to say. All I know is that kittens are a lot like human children — they develop at their own pace and in their own way, so trying to compare them with each other is sort of pointless. Speed Bump is 60% chill, 40% snugglemuffin, and 110% perfect just the way she is.”
A New Kitten Friend Arrives
Soon after, Speed Bump met Lumi, a wee kitten rescued alone from Chicago’s first snow. The kitten turned out to be a little boy and although four weeks older, they soon met and fell head over paws for one another.
The two bonded kittens loved each other all the more as they grew up fast. In a flash, a family adopted them together, and they will be together forever.
It was quiet again in the foster home, and Deborah missed the ” little kitten-sized gaps” on the couch beside her. But she knew that kitten season was coming and needed to be ready to save more kittens arriving soon. You can follow and support Deborah at “Kitten Smitten” on Facebook and Instagram.