Today, I had planned to do another brick story. However, three new babies have come into our lives. On Wednesday morning, a good samaritan brought in a tiny kitten to the shelter where Older Daughter works. This person said the kitten was in the middle of the street she was traveling. The shelter is still overrun with kittens, but this one was accepted due to its very debilitated condition. Older Daughter did what she could for the little thing throughout the day. A new employee there said she would take the kitten home that night to force-feed. Older Daughter got a text message on her way home from work. Just after the shelter closed, somebody brought in another kitten - same street, same condition. When Older Daughter got to work yesterday, the kittens hadn’t actually gone home with this employee. Evidently, they were doing a little better, especially since they now had each other to cuddle up with.
Yesterday was Thursday. Our weather changed Wednesday overnight to rain and much colder. Very late in the day, just before closing, a man walked into the shelter with a box. What was inside? ANOTHER kitten. Found in the same street. Only this one had been outside in the elements Wednesday night and all day yesterday. This one wouldn’t make it. Older Daughter calls when she is heading home so that we know when to expect her. She called later than usual yesterday. She said - Sorry I’m gonna be late. But I was trying to save a kitten. She explained about the third kitten coming in and that it was so close to death she just went in the back and held it so that it wouldn’t die alone.
It wasn’t moving. Eyes matted shut. Covered in fleas. Full-blown URI. This was the same condition the other two were in. But this one was ice cold. The gums were white. And for some reason, the inside of its mouth was packed with mud. Older Daughter had cleaned out the mouth immediately, but it made no difference. This little baby was already in a coma-like state. It brought back memories of little Gabriel. As Older Daughter sat there holding this lifeless baby, she remembered what we had done with Gabriel. We had dripped sugar water into his mouth. She wrapped the kitten in the newly warmed towels from the microwave and jumped into her car. That’s when she called home. I’m pretty sure this kitten won’t live, but I’m bringing her home. She is in my lap now. She said she remembered that the sugar water had revived Gabriel. I launched into action. Yes. We would try sugar water. And Older Daughter said this kitten simply was NOT getting warmer. I would set up a heating pad in the downstairs bathroom. I told myself that we probably wouldn’t get this kitten back from the dead, but we would give it our best shot. I tried to prepare myself for what was more likely to happen.
We gave sugar water. She started trying to lap at it. She wanted to nurse. Older Daughter prepared the porridge consistency canned food and water mixture. We got a couple of cc's into the baby. We put her in the small crate on a soft piece of fleece over the heating pad. We ate our dinner and checked on her. A little more forced food. She was starting to move around. She could hardly breathe through her nose. If she wasn’t going to die, she needed so many things. Antihistamine. Antibiotic. Eye drops.
Older Daughter and I decided that to give her the best chance for survival now that it looked like she might not slip away, we would need to make a trip to the shelter to pick up medications. While we were there, we might as well grab the other two kittens from this street litter and bring them home for extra care. Maybe having her siblings here would provide a little motivation to our coma baby. We jumped in my vehicle for the half hour trip to town.
We got our supplies, loaded up two very sick little kittens, and drove to the other side of town to check out that street where the three had been found. We did not find any more kittens. We headed home.
All received medications. The first two are eating and drinking some on their own, but are still very sick. The third, however, stopped letting us force-feed. We were still having trouble keeping her warm. When I checked on them one last time late last night, our coma baby was curled up on her heating pad. I hoped for a miracle.
I checked once in the middle of the night. Still breathing, but not moving. Maybe a little warmer. I had a fitful night, and woke up long before the alarm was due to go off. I stared at the ceiling in my bedroom and feared the worst. I really didn’t want to go downstairs and find that little angel gone or struggling to take her last few breaths. I made myself get up and go down. I cracked open the bathroom door. The first two were curled into a tight ball of kittenness - as close to each other as they could get and sound asleep. From inside the crate with the heating pad, I heard a faint cry. My little angel's eyes were open.
The coma baby, this morning.
The siblings, last night when we first got them home.
As always, I know not to get my hopes up. Keep these babies in your thoughts this weekend. We'll do our best to bring them to health. And love them every minute they are here!
Tomorrow is a certain kitty’s Gotcha Day. Take a quick peek into my sidebar and scroll down to a little gray kitty named Ash. Ash got gotcha’d by Cat of Cat’s Cats and was renamed Jimmy. Ash was our VERY FIRST kitty to be adopted from our then-brand-new Winnie’s Wish campaign. Cat will be posting Jimmy’s Gotcha Day on Sunday. It’s a celebration for Cat and her gang, but it’s a celebration for us, too. One year ago, our first Winnie’s Wish kitty went to a wonderful home. I pushed hard to have TWENTY kitties placed by the one year mark. It didn’t happen, but it’s still definitely worth celebrating that FIFTEEN kitties HAVE been placed. Cat jumpstarted the whole thing a year ago by adopting her Jimmy. I hope you visit her blog (always in my Blogroll) on Sunday and share in the celebration.
(And if the celebration gives you the fever, come back over to the daily dose and pick out a new addition for your own family. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating - we have some of the best kitties EVER for adoption right now.)