First of all a quick line to let you all know that the kittens seem to have turned the corner from being seriously ill for almost 3 weeks, to starting to play and wash etc...
It turned out that it was the kitten formulas at fault. And yes I said formulas. In trying to eliminate what was causing the trouble I tried everything, from antibiotics to different kitten milk replacement formulas to bottled and boiled water... to no avail. At times both kittens were unconscious (almost every day) for around 6 hours. It was breaking my heart.
Then I talk to a different vet in desperation, and he suggested that just maybe (and he has no idea why) they are deficient in Thiamine. This should not be the case as they are being fed very high quality kitten milk replacement formulas which can be fed even from newborn. But it was worth a shot.
So overnight they went from 100% syringe formula feeding to solid Whiskas kitten pouches and plain water. I have to make sure that they never drink milk again, not even specially made cat or kitten 'milk'.
They ate solid food today. One took to it like a duck to water, but it took me all day of hand feeding with my fingers to get the other one to actually eat it, rather than just suck it dry !
And (touch wood) so far today no unconscious, zero body control episodes... They have even started washing themselves and playing... a first for both activities and well beyond when they should have started.
You can't believe how happy I am.
As to why they had no Thiamine, otherwise known as vitamin B1, we don't know. It is included in the Kitten Formula I assume as it is so essential, although I admit I haven't checked. So I can only assume they couldn't process it for some reason from their feeds daily (something wrong and maybe why Momma cat abandoned/gave them to me). However, they only got so ill daily after 2 feeds. Then woke up full of beans about 6 hours later...
So... they now sit IN the cat plates (one each as they fight like mad if they have to share) and suck and eat the meat and jelly... quite cute ! And stand in the water to drink...
I have a lot of mess as you can imagine.
But I don't care as they are alive and well and now happy kittens.
So now to the bread and butter pudding. I will admit to this being an absolute favourite of mine and I personally put neither cream or custard on it.. I like it as is MMMMMMM.
Bread & Butter Pudding
12 slices thinly cut White Bread
3 ozs Butter (quite soft)
3 ozs Caster Sugar (fine sugar but not icing sugar)
3 ozs Sultanas
1.75 litres (3.75 US pints) full fat Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Freshly ground Nutmeg to taste
1. Cut the crusts off of the slices of bread and butter them all on both sides (if you need more butter use it).
2. Cut each slice into 4 triangles.
3. Arrange one single layer of the triangles in a large shallow (capacity about 2 litres) ovenproof dish, overlapping them slightly. Use about half the slices.
4. Sprinkle half the sultanas evenly across the slices.
5. Layer the rest of the slices of bread on top, evenly and slightly overlapping again.
6. Beat together the sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a bowl.
7. Pour half the egg mixture over the bread and leave to stand and soak in for 10 minutes.
8. After 10 minutes beat the remaining egg mixture again, add in the sultanas then pour it all into the dish evenly across the bread pieces.
9. Sprinkle with the nutmeg. Some people seem to prefer cinnamon rather than the nutmeg.
10. Cook for about 50 minutes at 160C, or 140C if its a fan assisted oven. That's 320F, or 285F for fan assisted ovens. For gas ovens its mark 2 for maybe 55 - 60 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Basically cook it until the custard is set and the top is nice and crispy and browning (not burnt).
This is great hot or cold... and is positively addictive.