I attempted to update the kitten page, only to realize I didn't have any really good clear photos of the kittens on my phone. Time for an impromptu photo session in the screen porch! You can see their beautiful faces on the Kittens page, but to save you the click, here are their best photos.
I think part of the issue is that when we first got Gypsy and Luna, it was something like September and the vet told me that spring kittens make good barn cats, but fall kittens don't usually survive their first winter. We spent the whole first winter trying to find a balance between keeping the kittens outside and acclimated to the cold, but also bringing them into the porch where it was at least a bit warmer (which they hated). I lament that Mei was not born in the spring. As much as I adore her, it may just be that she will also need to find a home where she can live indoors and be pampered. My husband is not a fan of the idea of bringing six more kittens into the house (I have to agree with him). Our house is plenty full as it is, and with school right around the corner, kids will have less time to do chores, leaving more of it to me to keep up on. Do I want to scoop enough litter boxes every day to keep an additional six kittens in the house? No, I really don't. Will I? Yes, if it means they are safe. Someone please adopt some kitties!
I'm still trying to figure out a price for these kittens. With Floki's kittens we just waited until they were six months old and took care of all of their vet work up front. Every kitten was vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped, and spayed/neutered before they left. I liked knowing that they were set for at least their first year when handing them off to their new families, but it's a lot of work (and expense) to care for kittens for six months. We lost our hats on expenses selling each kitten for $250 (and Ginger Bear is still looking for his forever home). I'd like to find Gypsy and Luna's kittens homes sooner than that, but not step back from the responsibility of having brought these extra animals into the world. So what is a fair price? An exam fee is around $20-$30, plus the cost of their PRC vaccine (need at least two). I don't have that cost off the top of my head, but I think it's around $20. That means if you start vaccinating at 8 weeks old, you've already sunk $80-$100 into two vaccination visits by 10 weeks old. At 12 weeks old, they're old enough for the $15 rabies vaccine (our vet does not charge an exam fee for a rabies vaccine). That brings us up to $95-$115 invested in medical care by 12 weeks old (per kitten). This doesn't include food, cat litter, the collar, cleaning supplies, or the time and energy put into socializing them. Add in the $64 our vet charges for microchipping, and we're at $159-$179 (each). If they don't find a home by six months old, add up another two months of food, litter, toys, and cleaning supplies, and tack on the $70 neuter or $130 spay cost. Now we're up to $229-$249 for a male, and $289-$309 for a female in vet bills alone. Once you add in the costs for food, litter, cleaning supplies, collars, toys, and incidentals... You can see how it's difficult to keep a reasonable price when costs are so high. I wish we had a low-cost spay/neuter program here where we could get kittens done before 5-6 months old. I'd make good use of it! Unfortunately, they're all over an hour drive away.