Saturday, July 10, 2010
The odds are against us
Sparkler is a ten day old, female kitten with an upper respiratory infection. She was found in a dry-grass area between some houses and some shops. The kids who found her brought her home to their Mum, whilst I was visiting, and we tried to find a solution together.
Animal Control and The Humane Society said that if we brought her in she would be euthanized as they don't have the resources to bottle feed a baby every few hours. The No-Kill animal shelters and organizations are overwhelmed, full to the brim, and the specialized kitten fostering and placement people can't take her in case she gives her sniffles to all the others.
My friend's children had quickly lost interest and she couldn't face the added burden of sleepless nights. My budget can't stretch to vet care for random foundlings.
J. took the kitten to the emergency vet for hydration, antibiotics and advice and then dropped her off with me in the hopes we can get her through the next ten days, at which time she has a reservation with a cat-wrangling professional who will launch her on her way to a loving forever home.
There is a cardboard box next to our bed with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and a sheepskin remnant to emulate Sparkler's absent family. Sparkler (a name related to the July holiday celebrations of her birth month and, hopefully, a good omen for her personality-to-be) has crusty eyes, which I have been bathing clean and to which I have been applying ointment. Her poor nose is blocked which makes it hard for her to eat and sleep. She has not been participating voluntarily in the bottle feeding process. I woke her up twice during the night to feed but you could measure her intake in dew drops.
I hoped that the fluids she got from the vet would pull her through the night but I was still happily surprised to see her continued breathing as dawn broke this morning.
We've made it through the day so far. Our biggest achievement was having her latch onto the nipple for a few gulps of her milk. I have dosed her with her antibiotics again this evening and am putting my faith in their healing power. To be continued...