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Teen volunteer Tristan cares for cats for his Duke of Edinburgh award – part 3.

This post has been written by Tristan Goodway-Sims who is undertaking a volunteer placement for a Duke of Edinburgh award

My last blog post ended with the perils of kitten worming when they were three weeks old.

As the weeks have gone on, the kittens are sleeping less and playing more and everything has become livelier. I have made our spare pen into a kitten pen and at the moment the kittens spend very short periods in here separate from their mum, Honey, to encourage them to try some wet kitten food (which I smash up well with the back of a fork). Honey doesn’t seem at all fazed when the kittens are removed as she can still see and smell them.

My mum joked that Honey has the same look on her face that she did when my sister and I used to go over to our nan’s house. I can’t think what she means!

young woman with kittens on her lap

Tristan's sister Charlotte having a kitten cuddle


I have made the separate kitten pen as interesting as I can for them and it’s amazing how much fun kittens can have with assorted sized cardboard boxes with holes cut in them. The kittens are so much fun to watch now as they explore everything. Even the water dish is a source of fascination with tiny paws being dipped in and one particular kitten (Herbie) launching himself into the water bowl like Tom Daly at the Olympics. He then just sits there as if he is in a jacuzzi.

tabby kitten hiding in green felt bed


The boys are particularly keen on trying the wet kitten food. As soon as the kittens have had a manic play and a nibble at the food dish they are returned to Honey and they usually fall asleep.

I have quickly learned that kittens are either wide awake or fast asleep with nothing in between, so one minute they can be playing like energetic kids and the next minute they’re fast asleep. I have therefore found kittens fast asleep in strange places including the food bowl (with dry food stuck to their face), in the cat litter tray and in our magazine rack!

black kittens on cardboard box

tabby cat in wicker basket

We have all enjoyed handling the kittens and playing with them in the evenings. Everyone has been inventive with homemade toys as well as bought ones. Scrunched up tissue paper is a favourite, as well as paper that rustles in a cardboard box. Their favourite bought toy is a ball with a bell in it which they boot to each other in a team formation using some impressive paw and claw work.

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