The kitten is now five days old. Each feeding -- every three hours or so -- gives some new cause for alarm. Wiggle/squirm/cry can mean anything among "I'm too cold"; "the milk is too cold"; "the milk is too hot"; "I'm constipated"; "the Archbishop of Canterbury is a jackass"; "I'm still hungry"; "I'm too full"; "my claw is stuck in the towel"; "I just want to cuddle"; "I'm suffering from some mysterious ailment which you are powerless to diagnose or prevent".
And I have to guess which one.
Based on all of four days of experience.
This afternoon an unexpected squirt of milk from the tiny bottle went down the wrong pipe, and the kitten started to choke to death. I had to hold it upside down, heels over head, and pat its back repeatedly until it coughed up a few drops of milk.
The saga continues...
UPDATE: I'm worried. The kitten refuses to eat very much despite acting as if he's hungry; his energy seems down and his belly seems to have gotten distended. I'm wondering if he's constipated and that none of the food I've been giving him is actually getting into the system. Infant kittens often have this problem. I hope he has a better chance of making it through the critical first two weeks than the Anglican Communion does of surviving reasonably intact!
UPDATE 2: The kitten made it through the night. Since it never seemed to want to eat enough -- and since the emergency vet said on the phone that indicactions were that it wasn't constipated -- I took to feeding it every 2 hours. Feed the kitten; sleep 1.5 hrs; warm the bottle; feed the kitten; sleep 1.5 hrs; warm the bottle... all night. Ugh. This kitten had better make it!