Thanks!  That makes me feel better!  I do leave the TV on their room all day to 
force them to get used to human voices.  As far as food bowls and litter box- 
no problem (except for the inevitable laying in the litter box!).  Nothing is 
going to stop these little pigs from me.  Especially when I 
bring them their wet kitten food at night (wh/ I'm sure they've never had)- I 
sit in front of their condo and stare at them-- they HATE it, but it's so funny 
to watch the test of wills going through their heads-- watching me, thinking 
I'm going to grab them, thinking they really want to eat that food, etc.  EVERY 
TIME, those pigs opt for eating their food- licking the bowls clean, while I 
hover over top of them!  They use the box fine.
I haven't mixed them with my older cats yet- I plan to, because one of them, 
LeeRoy, really likes all cats and is a great cat ambassador.  But I didn't want 
to stress them out so much so soon after their maybe in a few days 
we will try that.  Supervised of course.

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: RE: socializing barn kittensDate: 
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 16:16:55 -0500

Fostered a little guy that somebody had dumped .. he was a real problem to pick 
up—he’d hiss and curl up just as you described.  He’d also run a whole lot 
faster than me and could get under things!   LOL  
I just made it a point to pick him up as much as I could.  He was around my 
cats and I think that helped a whole lot cause once he started playing with 
them and watching what they did, he figured it was OK.  I fed him with the big 
guys and just being around, figuring out that the strange noises (TV, vacumn, 
etc.) were OK, making his way to the food dish and the litter box and the 
toys—all those things clicked and within a couple of weeks he was ready to go.  
He got adopted the 2nd day I brought him to the shelter (I made a deal to bring 
him there during the day and pick him up at night).
My only suggestion is to do what you’re doing—handle each of them as much as 
possible, let them be kittens and find their food bowls and litter boxes, and I 
bet it will work out…

Christiane Biagi
Cell:  914-720-6888
Katrina Animal Reunion Team (KART)
Join Us & Help Reunite Katrina-displaced Families with their Animals

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Caroline 
KaufmannSent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 3:59 PMTo: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: OT: 
socializing barn kittens
My other issue is that is took in 3 female barn kittens last Sat.  We are 
estimating they are about 8 wks (just got spayed on Mon and all weigh almost 3 
lbs).  They were born in a barn in Indiana- mom was dropped off on this man's 
farm and had her kittens in the barn.  I don't know too many details, but after 
they were born, they started coming out of the barn a little so they were 
noticed by the farmer and his daughter.  They were not taken into the house as 
far as I know they stayed in the barn until they were caught and brought to me. 
 So my contact at the adoption agency obviously wanted to get them fix and out 
of the bitter bitter cold and wants to see if they can be socialized enough to 
be adopted out.  If not, they will have to re-released to the barn.  She 
doesn't have the time/resources to take on this project right now and she was 
given my name and number as the newest "kitten rehabber" on the block I guess.  
But I'm a rehabber of sick kittens- that's my forte!  And these babies are the 
healthiest lil piggies I've seen in a loooooong time (aw the irony).  (By the 
by, 5 of the 7 kittens that I have nursed through illnesses and fostered since 
Sept. have been adopted!  The remaining ones are Yoda- who shows badly b/c he 
thinks I'm his mommy and he has no intention of going anywhere...and the little 
booger is growing on me daily anyway; and Possum (aka "Possee"- my little 
struggling underweight darling who's finally growing and moving around now that 
we've gone through a whole thing of Nutrical!  He's not caught up to Yoda yet, 
even tho they are the same age, but there's been improvement.  He isn't 
show-ready yet so I haven't even tried to adopt him yet.).   Anyway, I don't 
know what I am doing with these barn kittens!  Other than just generally 
"forcing" myself on them, I am kind of at a loss.  They're not really wild like 
feral cats or anything, they just would prefer it if you didn't touch them.  
They kind of go into this panic mode when I do pick them up by the scruff where 
they will just curl up their body like a ball and they just kind of go to their 
happy place-- like lapse into a trance and don't engage.  So people who don't 
truly know cats think they are darling little docile things you can just hold 
forever, but it's not so.  I know if you put them on the ground, they would be 
off and under something and you'd never find them again.  It's like they go 
into survival mode when you hold them, so people think they are fun to hold, 
but really, these little things are dying on the inside while you are doing it! 
 They never purr when I scratch them or handle them.  They will hiss sometimes 
when they first see me or I reach for them, but it's really baby hissing and I 
totally ignore it.  Of course, they are scared of sounds and some toys I 
originally gave them, but we are making headway now b/c they love the cat 
teasers with feathers, so I can get them to engage, but only for the purpose of 
playing.   Other than forced holding of them, what can I do to work on getting 
them to engage with people- and even like them?  I hold them together as a 
group all wrapped up in a towel- I thought that would lessen the trauma by them 
all having each other. Plus, the farmer's daughter (hee hee!) favored only one 
of them and held only that one kitten- so it's more socialized and easier to 
hold than the other two.  It's actually really sad to see the effect that that 
favoritism had on these babies!  I just want to be doing all that I can b/c if 
they can't be socialized, they will have to be released and I will feel like 
it's partly my fault-- I feel like I can't fail here.   It would be especially 
sad b/c these little things are cute cute!  They have those big round "apple" 
heads and pudgy faces and huge round eyes and they have medium fur that is 
really fluffy and poufy- very distinctive looking and I know if they didn't 
have "people" issues right now, they would literally fly off the shelves at 
adoption day!  They look little bear cubs basically...insanely cute! 
Suggestions very welcome at this point!thanks,Caroline      

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