Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's been a long month....

Kitten season....

Means I have new fosters!  It's been a roller coaster month with the newbies.  I brought home two 6 week old grey kittens about a month ago.  They both had upper respiratory infections (which is very common in kittens) so they were both on meds.  A week later, I came home and one of the little guys was limp and unresponsive.  Rushing him to the vet hoping that he can beat the odds, only to walk away with little "Rocky" passing at only 7 weeks.... was a very hard thing to go though.  I had never lost a kitten before, and it was not easy.  I thought that maybe I had missed something, or that it was my fault, but then came to accept that I had done all that I could have done, and that his tiny 1 pound body couldn't handle the virus. 

The rescue group I volunteer with has a "2 kitten policy".  Any kittens under the age of 6 months are to be fostered and adopted out in pairs.  So a few days after the passing of  little "Rocky" I brought home a companion for the other kitten that had survived.  I knew very little about the kitten: It was a male named Squiggey and was still learning how to use the litter box.  Well I brought the kitten home and gave it bath (it had poop stuck in it's long grey fur) and discovered that this kitten was in fact a female and she had diarrhea.  So I took her to the vet where I learned more: Weighting in at only 10 oz, she was probably around 5 weeks old.  That started the longest week ever:  Squiggey needed to be on a special diet since she normally would have been with her mom still, and she needed to be fed every few hours.  I had been unexpectedly thrown onto a "Caring for baby kittens fast track" since I've never dealt with kittens younger than 8 weeks.  Feeding began a 6 am, I went to work, and then continued the feeding every couple of hours, including getting up at 2 am. 

So we had Squiggey and Lenny (since I had not named the original kitty) who were about 2-3 weeks apart in age.  Lenny was still getting over his upper respiratory infection, and Squiggey was getting over her diarrhea.  Then.... there was another vet visit:  I was concerned because Lenny had been on antibiotics for a few weeks and plateaued on his health, and Squiggey now had an eye infection.  The verdict: A viral infection that put the kittens into quarantine status.  They had to be keep separate from my cats, every time I handled them I had to change my clothes, and they were on more antibiotics and eye and nose drops. 

It's been about a month since I brought home Lenny and Squiggey and I'm glad to say that they are finally on the upswing.  Lenny had only a few boogers every now and then, and his wheezing has stopped.  The red, swollen third eye lid on Squiggey is beginning to go down, though unfortunately she has lost vision in her left eye.  Finally after weeks of getting up in the middle of the night to feed, weeks of medicating, and isolation, the light at the end of the tunnel is here! 

Nothing beats having very sick kittens who depend on you to get them healthy and see them get better and discover the world.  They are running around, playing hard, eating their weight in food, and learning what it means to be a cat!

The next challenge:  Find them a home!!

Live. Love. Rescue.

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