We were gone all day Saturday up in Spokane. In the evening, we noticed that the surviving 2 kitties were a little chilled and not moving much. We also noticed that Tigger wasn't exactly an attentive mama. She didn't stay with them and I never saw her letting them nurse. At 11pm when I was locking up for the night, I noticed that one of the kittens was missing! We started searching for it and found the poor thing out in the front yard, nearly frozen to death. That's when we declared Tigger an unfit mother and brought and the kittens inside. For a while we tried to keep her inside (in our half bathroom) with them, but she still wouldn't feed them. She only wanted to carry them away and kept trying to shove them under the bathroom door.
David went to Wally World at midnight to buy kitten milk. We banished the Tigger to the outdoors and thus began our kitten rearing career. We've been feeding them every 2-4 hours since then.
Here they are at 3 days old. At first they were too small to drink out of the tiny kitten bottle, so we used the dropper. The orange kitten is the one who was left outside. It took him a day to fully recover, but he (I think it's a 'he') seems to be doing okay now.
They are getting more active and have filled out quite a bit since this picture. They haven't opened their eyes yet, but it should happen within a few days. They still live in our half bath with the door locked to keep the kids out. One night I caught Sarah at 3am taking them outside because "They wanted to see Tigger". Probably so, Sarah, but Tigger won't keep them warm and they'll quickly develop hypothermia out in the garage. Without a mama sitting with them, they need a room that is 85-90 degrees at all times because they can't regulate their body temperature yet.
Now that we've spent a week bottle feeding them, I'm not sure that I want to just give them away. The kids sure are attached to them too. As they get larger and more active, and better able to regulate their body temps (and if the weather would ever warm up!) then I'll let them have supervised visits with Tigger outside so that we can gradually transition them back outside on wean them onto solid foods outside.
We haven't settled on names yet because we're not certain about their genders. But, we might call the orange one "Sunny" or "Sunshine".
What would you do with these kittens? Remember, it's our kids' first time around tiny kittens.