Well, she may not weigh much (1 pound) but she finally has a name: Munchkin. Everyone who has met her agrees that this is a good name for the little runt. Here she is last Friday, boning up on her Chinese and learning to use big words like "gustatory" and "voracious." She is also dangerously close to one of Neko's toys, the famous blob we were given as part of her welcome package at the Deluxe Hotel in Portland, and the plastic bone, also included in the package.
This tiny little critter may not live past twelve weeks. In fact, there are moments when I am sure she will not live to see another day. She has a healthy appetite (voracious even) and can muster a lusty cry, but to be honest she can't really walk. She lurches and rolls and drags herself around somehow. She does get places, though. Last night, we left Munchkin and her bigger brother BB (for Big Brother, although this name is subject to change) home alone. Unable to find a restaurant open, we did a quick store run and came home thirty minutes later. The kittens were gone! We looked everywhere. I was convinced they had found the hole at the back of the wardrobe and had bolted, but in fact they had crawled into the smallest and most suffocating space they could find--right behind the dishwasher. How Munchkin managed to drag herself that far is beyond comprehension.
They seem to have returned to sleep there as well. Their bean bag chair was empty when we got up this morning. Munchkin is making up for that wild night behind the dishwasher today, with sleep interrupted only to lap up some milk and wolf down a bit of solid food. I have mixed some baby food (organic squash) into her milk, hoping that this will solidify her little stools a bit. This is why I wonder if she'll make it: diarrhea can be fatal when you weigh one pound. There is a condition called Fading Kitty Syndrome to describe kittens that gradually fade away and die before they survive their twelfth week. She is beginning week eight. I may be wrong, but I'm hoping that if she can make it to twelve weeks she will live to be at least twelve years old.
Everyone says that even if she doesn't, she will have ended her brief life in a happy place. She looks happy, and has been elated since BB showed up. But she also looks so tiny and so frail. I just don't know. If we took her to the vet now, he would tell us to put her down. Gotta run. I just heard a lusty, insistent cry.
July 8, 2008 update: Munchkin has gained two ounces and now weighs 1 pound and 2 ounces. She is also much stronger and can sit up without assistance. She loves to chew on and do battle with towels and other objects, and has just discovered her tail. Like Neko, she loves to try and capture it. She also loves to watch me work. If only she knew a little French; I can always use extra help.