Friday, September 9, 2022

The Aftermath

 Fostering! Kittens grow into cats, but if you foster for the county shelter, you have a never-ending stream of cuteness invading your home.

So cute, right?

There is a cost, though. (Not monetary — the shelter pays for everything.) Before you bring new kittens into the space, you have to clean well enough to make sure you aren't adding new diseases to whatever they already have. 

Plus... I don't know how else to say this — kittens are gross little mess machines. I took that picture just now. I've had these kittens for two days, and I've cleaned the bathroom twice since they got here. To be fair, there were originally six of them in the room until another foster picked up three yesterday, but still.

Here's a better view of the room...

If you click to make it bigger, you can see there's litter scattered over the floor, some dried food near the plate, some dried something-that-isn't-food near the cardboard litter box in the top right, and various other bits of debris. (Just assume all kittens will have diarrhea. It's often just because they've changed food sources three times in as many days. But also, parasites...)

After these guys leave, I'll do the following:

  1. Throw out all the used litter and cardboard. (If there is leftover kibble in the bowl, the dog gets it. This is the highlight of his week.) I use a lot of boxes for hiding spaces and playgrounds because they're disposable and carpeted things are nearly impossible to disinfect. Someday, there will be a litter of kittens with ringworm and I'd like to keep that contained...

  2. Shake out the towels and run a load with detergent and bleach.

  3. Sweep up all the loose litter. Now sweep again. Keep sweeping. Litter is everywhere!

  4. Scrub / wipe down the surfaces with water to get the organic material off. (There's no point in bleaching or disinfecting if there is still organic material present.) By surfaces, I mean the floor, yes, but also the walls (where kittens will have magically flung poop up to my waist height — I don't know how they manage it), the side of the tub, the door, etc.

  5. Mop & wipe surfaces with water and a bit of bleach (1 ounce bleach in 32 ounces water) — this is quick because all the food and poop was removed in the previous step. Let everything dry.

  6. Wash the litter boxes, food bowls, and plastic toys.

  7. Set everything back up for the next bunch: clean towels, new boxes, washed bowls, toys, clean litter boxes with fresh litter.
It takes less than an hour. I put on an audiobook from the library and clean.

Have I sold you on fostering yet? Seriously, though — the cute levels are off the charts!