Tuesday Sucked...majorly

So Tuesday sucked. I guess I should give background.
Saturday 4/23/11, around 8pm Curtis went out to get the bowls to feed our outdoor cats. They're not really ours per-se but they live in the back yard and we feed them. Local stray colony basically. We feed, and provide shelter to them when they choose to use it. He found a pair of very newly born kittens in the carrier that's on the back porch that the cats use as shelter from storms. He came inside and told me about them.

The weather was miserable. Cold, around 45 degrees and very rainy. The bowls were filled and he took them back out to the kitties so they could eat. He checked on the kittens an hour or so later and didn't see any of the older kitties running away from the area where the carrier sits, and so he looked in on the two kittens and they were still in the same place he'd found them earlier - basically.

being as wet/cold as it was he asked me what I thought we should do. We watched on & off for a while through the sliding doors to see if the momma was coming around to feed them - she hadn't been back that we could tell - as miserable/cold as it was I said we needed to do something.

So around midnight we went out and got the two kittens and he'd looked around the area and found a third under the shelf thing the carrier sits on, this kitten was a mostly solid gray and was larger than the other two found in the carrier - but he was soaking wet as he was on bare concrete in a puddle of water. I said 'three's an awfully small litter, you should keep looking in the area for any others'...good thing - we found a 4th in another part of the same area, this one the last to be born by looks of things, and most noticeably the smallest.

We brought them in and got them dried off, we went to wal-mart first thing in the morning and got powdered kitten milk replacer (kmr) and newborn bottles. We got home and mixed it up and I started feeding the 4 as much as i could get them to take in a single sitting. Then I did research online - learned as much as i could about bottle feeding kittens and whatnot. Proceeded to try to wake up every 2-3 hours to feed them and wash their genitals so they could potty properly for survival.

they were all doing great until around midnight tuesday morning. One of the first two found started going down hill, no 24hr vet that we knew of in any area within reason around us. And no $ to spend on a 24hr vet...crap. We did everything we could, tried modified cpr, warming her and more food, but she wasn't eating and wouldn't potty. That kitten died in my hands around 4am. I was so sad, blaming myself for its death, figuring I'd done something wrong at some point because I'd never been a foster mom to kittens that young before...then the second kitten started getting worse...the second one found - these were both the ones found in the carrier and were the driest of the 4 when we brought them in.

The second one died in Curtis's hands at the vet's office, which we went in at 815am - when they didn't open until 830 but luckily someone was there. The vet said we did above & beyond what most people would've done, even those who care deeply for cats probably wouldn't have pushed to save them as hard as we did. The other two one male (the 3rd found) and largest of the litter we named Thor - we never worried about him or his health he was strong, acted healthy, and had lots of energy, even drank better than the rest, and his baby sister who we named Ôstarâ who was the smallest of the litter and found 4th were seen by our regular vet at around 9am on Tuesday morning. the vet said they both had strong hearts & lungs and had made it through the roughest part. The vet gave us a better form of kmr and antibiotics to take home and feed to Thor & Ôstarâ, which when we got home they both took a good bit of the kmr without issue, and slept pretty soundly. They gave us a hot water glove which we kept in the box with the two babies and put the box on a heating pad so they were nice & warm.

We made a call to a friend of a friend who has a momma kitty who will take on nursing kittens and who has fostered kittens from birth before, she came out to get Thor & Ôstarâ at around 9pm or so Tuesday night, and while I know it was for the best that they go with someone who had experience with kittens that young (and that small, they were likely born early), it was really hard to let them go, simply because I'd been doing 99% of the nursing and care for the whole litter from the start, because I had the patience, and they just accepted me as 'mom'.

So while I had the privilege of being mom to 4 beautiful kittens for a few short days, it was hard, it was trying, it hurt like hell to lose the two on Tuesday morning, it hurt even more to give up the care of Thor & Ôstarâ to someone with more experience. I'm glad they're with someone who has dealt with tiny kittens before, but I'm sad they're not here anymore.

I woke up with a start several times Tuesday night & Wednesday during my sleep, hearing mews from the rest of our cats, and thinking I had to tend to the kittens in their box. Curtis did the same. It still hurts to know we couldn't save the other two, and it hurts that we don't have the little fuzzkids in a box by the bed, but we know its for the best. We know that the entire litter was small for 'kitten' size, and the odds weren't in their favor, but dammit it hurts.

I slept 18 hours after the kittens left, and it felt like less than an hour, I woke up exhausted still, and for some reason can't get to sleep tonight even though I'm tired as hell. I miss them all, and I'm thankful I was given the privilege of taking care of them for that short time, it was a pleasure, a stress, and the closest I'll ever come to being a real mom. But it was worth it.

(and then after all was said & done, we learned close friends of ours had lost their long time doggy companion Tuesday as well. I feel bad for them. I know their pain, and I hurt for them as well as for their loss. Sugarbear is free of pain now though and that's the thing they should remember)

this blog is written in memory of un-named gray & white kittens #1 & 2, and sugarbear the large dog whose breed i forget right now who was an absolute sweetheart the few times i got to spend time with her. Rest in peace - fuzzkids - enjoy your romp through the fields & hallways wherever you end up.

-frawggie- the incredibly sad.

1 comments:

Melissa E. said...

That's so sad! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I can't imagine having a poor kitten die in my arms but you did your best to help them and that's the most important thing.

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