Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The Bad News
(if you prefer the good news first.. go here)
Things have not gone well in Casa de Gato..
As I told you on Monday things were still less than ideal with the black kitties. I was glad to be able to give them more room, but I was still concerned. They were underweight for their size and their stool was still in flux.
One major down side to cage fostering kittens, is you don't have that direct hands on time with them as you do with the ones running up your leg every two minutes. I did make it a point to touch each of them at least once a day. I watched very carefully to make sure they were all eating, and no one was 'lethargic'.
I am fortunate that they got over their hissing phase pretty quickly, so it made it easier to touch them. But having them and Odilia AND Trevor AND Scotty... well I fear I missed something. Hind sight is always 20/20 right? or maybe in reality hind sight is really just horribly skewed to make you feel as bad as possible.
Monday night after spending some time with Odilia and Trevor and Scotty, I got up and went to clean up the cage. I take my time, patting kittens, playing with them if they'll play, and I watched to make sure they all ate. They all did.
The littlest one, that I mentioned previously, was still very little, but he ate. He took three or four bites, then backed off and sat near the bowl for a while. Then he took a couple of more bites. Still being obnoxiously little, I thought that giving him some KMR would be a good idea. I went and mixed some up and made sure it was warm and I spent some time trying to fill his belly.
He wasn't thrilled with the idea, but he ate it. He didn't seem to be choking on it, he didn't spit it out, he fought me and asked me to stop, which I did but then I would start back up again.. I wanted to be able to feel his stomach.
See he was little more than fur and bones. His little legs looked like chicken bones - even covered with fur. His stomach was concave.. his ribs were all present and easily felt. His backbone was sticking out..
As I fed him, we talked names. My husband went for silly. I leaned toward strong names like Thor :) I had originally wanted to give these kittens Celtic warrior names, due to all the screaming that was going on.. (singing the song of their people) but I never even did research on that... I just started calling the all black girl "Adele". I looked on the wall of names, and said "Henri" and he seemed to like that name, but then he stood up and he looked so much like a "Sigmund" to me that I started calling him that. I couldn't tell if he wasn't thrilled with me right then or the name, but to me he was Sigmund.
I held him for a while after I gave up on feeding him. His belly wan't convex, but at least it wasn't concave any more. He was bright eyed-ish, active and happy when I put him back in the cage.
I was NOT prepared for what I found yesterday morning..
When I looked in the cage I only initially saw three kittens. One of the black kittens was curled up around "Sigmund". As I usually do when kittens don't run to greet me, I panicked. I looked in the cage and waited for a breath, and one came.. So I relaxed a little - but only a little.
With the cage as it is, I can not easily reach in there and touch a kitten on the bottom level. I called, but the sibling would not move. I didn't want to disturb anyone and everyone moving the cage if they were just sleeping, so I found a long narrow piece of plastic and gently poked "Sigmund". no movement. So he was breathing, but not moving. Maybe he was just sleeping really hard. So I poked his sibling.. who moved and I knew immediately it was not good.
I took a moment and reminded myself not to completely freak out. So I moved the cage, touched the kitten and I knew that my day as I thought it might go was completely over. I scooped him up, wrapped him in a blanket and put him in the nearest basket - because I could not fathom the idea of sticking him in a carrier - and I was off.
We went to the shelter. I nearly turned into the vet clinic near by, but I was sure the shelter clinic vet would be working today. I was beyond caring about reality, I simply wanted them to fix him. I haven't lost a kitten since 2008 and I did not want to lose one now.
When I got him in, they took one look at him and they knew it was not worth trying to save. Every cell in my body screamed that no, we must try.. we can do SOMETHING!! but some how my mouth stood silent. I did ask to stay with him as they let him go, and they let me.
One thing I do like about the shelter, is their "blue room" They painted a rainbow on the wall and some clouds and flowers.. they have a copy of the rainbow bridge poem in a frame on the wall. We went in, they gave him the injection - which sadly due to his horrible state they could not do in a vein - which he did not even react to. I am sure was gone in spirit already, but I hung with him until his body expired.
As I was leaving, several things struck me. As I was driving in, despite the hard rain that was pouring down, three different birds were obnoxiously in my way. Two seemed like they dive bombed me and one was in the road and wouldn't take off till I was so close I was afraid I was going to hit it.. yet on the way home not 10 minutes later not one bird was flying.
and this was playing on the radio..
I sobbed, I cried, but yet I knew it was the right call. his pupils were not the same size, as well as a few other signs that it really was time, and even if we had fought the good fight that things were so very much against him from the start.
I take some comfort in the fact he did not die alone. He was being cared for by his sibling and then he sat in my arms on the way over.
Fly Free Henri Sigmond Spitter.. Fly Free..
P.S. when I got home, I went back to the kitten room and spent time time cleaning up and interacting with the kittens. I got an initial "what is going on".. then they eventually all seemed to forgive me and were interacting with me. The smaller frosted girl is least pleased with me, but she also seems to be doing OK. They were all playing and interacting well with each other and had eaten before I left. I then went up and changed and washed my hands well and went back down to clean up and take care of Odilia, Trevor and Scotty, who then in turn took care of me for about an hour.. All three of them crawled up around my neck and purred and drifted off to sleep. Seriously, kitten purrs are powerful medicine.. it really should be regulated.. ;)