Yesterday I picked the first ripe tomatoes, a blondkopfchen and a solanum spontaneum. I didn't post photos because instead I posted about Face passing away.
Last night I checked on kittens before I came to bed and noticed Nose in a strange position. She died in my hands minutes later. Same symptoms as Face, no body heat, pale gums and paw pads, and I had noticed she wasn't eating yesterday after Face died. We started syringe feeding warm goat milk but she had refused the last few feedings.
I told the kids to make sure Mocha was feeding the two remaining kittens and one of them said something about Mocha's "bigger nipple." I rolled her over and sure enough, one back teat was full, warm, and pink. I immediately thought mastitis, but as soon as I started to physically handle her belly, I knew I was wrong. We have not made it back to the vet to have Mocha's staples removed. In the past when we had surgical recoveries we have always dealt with stitches, which I can remove myself. It's never been a big deal to leave them in a little longer until I'm satisfied the wound is healed enough. Apparently the same does not apply to staples. Mocha has a very bad infection, which is evident when the last staple is bumped and pus is visible. I now suspect that this infection caused her milk to go bad in that nipple, and having that infection made the kittens sick (leading to them not eating which caused hypoglycemia). I noticed the two remaining kittens only nurse from the front nipples which is unusual as they produce less milk. I will be calling the vet right away in the morning to get them all in and get Mocha back on the mend. I am hoping they can drain the infection via needle and give antibiotics, but I'm afraid this may be bad enough to require having her put under and surgically placing a drainage tube. I don't know how antibiotics will effect her ability to nurse. Since Nose died we have been offering warm goat milk via syringe to both remaining kittens to assure they are not going hungry.
After losing Face and Nose, we decided the remaining kittens needed better names. Tiny is now Trinket, and if she survives we will be keeping her. Ears is now Quartz (or NetherQuartz as the kids call him - a reference to MineCraft).
Today I got a handful of beans, plenty of carrots, and an acorn squash. It looks like the lower temperatures have started to kill off a lot of the raised bed, leaving big open patches in the middle as the tendrils continue to grow over the sidewalk and take over the rest of the lawn.
I also picked three more blondkopfchen tomatoes that were ripe and stopped to compare them to the Lemon Drop that wasn't quite ready to pick yet.