This is the question that I have been repeatedly asking myself for the past few days. Because this mama, has been EXHAUSTED! All I have wanted to do is sleep ((yup, I have been counting down the hours until MY bedtime)) and it just keeps eluding me.
My weekend started out with a burst of excitement… Jay and I were spending our entire Saturday in NYC to shop, eat and check out the Wii U Experience!! I honestly cannot wait to tell you all about the game system, awesome new games and how I cannot wait to get one when they are released (OMG I love it!) but that is a whole other post.
But… I will show you who I met while I was there!
Yup – Mario!!
We even had a bit of excitement before we left … which is the same thing that is contributing to my lack of sleep.
Remember that mama cat that had a litter of kittens in my garage three weeks ago? Well, we have been worried that she wasn’t doing well because of her weird behavior. And our thoughts were confirmed on Friday night when she refused to care for her kittens.
She had moved them for the third time to right under our front porch. Which is no big deal as mama cats move their litter a few times to keep them safe. But what was weird was that one of the kittens was in the neighbors yard, shuffling around, screaming for her. And she was just sitting two houses away … causally glancing at the kitten without really caring.
I called my friend that does wildlife rehabilitation, and she suggested that I move the kitten back near the mom to see if she would pick it up and bring it back to the nest (that is what their home is called). So I gave it a try and the mom barely even glanced up. We went inside hoping that she would take action then, and as we were headed in, we saw that another cat was out and the third one was half way under the porch, halfway outside.
Fast forward about an hour and a half to 10:30 and not too much had changed. The mom was even farther away from the kittens and they were still screaming their heads off.
I decided to move all the kittens to the front of the nest entrance, and hope that she would come over soon. She didn’t and they kept on crying. At 11 I put them all in a box because they were wandering around the yard again and it was very dark. I didn’t want something to snatch them up while their mom was ignoring them.
I checked them one more time before going to bed at midnight and they were still in the box, still loudly meowing, and the mama was even farther away.
I decided to bring them in.
Yup… I brought all three kittens in. Put them in the cat carrier with the heating pad and tucked them away in the bathroom to warm up for the night.
We had to leave so early Saturday morning (by 6 am!) that I was so desperate to get to sleep, but of course I was so keyed up that I just couldn’t. I was up all night checking on them and majorly stressing.
Thankfully, my friend came over to look in on them and feed them Saturday while we were gone.
I got home around 5 and I was really upset to see that two of the kittens were very sick. One was struggling to breath, and they were all having a hard time bottle feeding.
After trying a few different things, I made the decision to take the kittens to the all night emergency animal hospital after I put the kids to bed at 7.
I had to fight with the doctor to give the one kitten fluid — she wanted to put them down. I was so upset, and I begged her to try the fluids first. She did, and asked me to come back in first thing in the morning to speak with one of their techs that had many years of kitten raising experience.
I am so happy that she suggested it… because the two smaller kittens were really getting worse.
I went in around 9:15 Sunday morning, and Laura, the technician, was amazing.
She understood why I wanted to give them a chance if there was one, and she told me that it was up to me — I could put them to sleep, or I could sign them over to her and she would tube feed them.
I was so thankful that she offered to do this that I started crying. I couldn’t help it.
I just want them to have a chance and I know that staying with her was their best shot. She can give them around the clock care and she knows medical procedures (like how to tube feed!) that I would never be able to do.
I have to call and check on them tonight, but honestly, I am nervous to. I don’t want to hear that they are getting worse, didn’t make it or had to be put down because their respiratory infection did, in fact, turn into phenomenon (which she told me it may have). **
I went in with three and came home with one
I was relieved that the two that were having a hard time were going to be taken care of by someone with much more experience then myself, but I was a little nervous to still have one… especially considering I was having a very hard time getting her to drink from the bottle.
Everything changed when we got home.
She finally got it. She got the concept of the bottle and latched right on and started sucking it down. I could’ve done a happy dance, and I am sure that I skipped a little bit when I left the bathroom after feeding her. This was what I was praying for — she had to eat to rehydrate herself enough to survive and to be able to take the antibiotics for her cold.
I was lucky to get an appointment with my vet today, and relieved when she told me that the kitten looked like she was eating enough to start the antibiotics!! Hopefully, they will clear up her sneezing and slight cough quickly, and she will continue to gain weight (she currently weighs .6 lbs!) and improve.
Umm… Time for bed yet?
Nope… still not time for me to go to bed.
The kitten needs to eat every 2-3 hours right now (with a slightly longer stretch overnight) and still needs help going to the bathroom and staying warm. Needless to say, she is keeping me very busy!
If she stays on track, she should be able to start having a small amount of kitten chow in about a week or so, and that will allow her to go longer between bottles.
But for right now, I am just taking it one day (and sleepless night) at a time with her.
I have about another hour before her next bottle and then I can head to bed…
…. I can’t wait.
How was your weekend??
** I just called to check on them, and I am very happy to hear that they are still holding on and starting to become a bit more active. Fingers crossed that they both keep improving!