My Volunteer Journal: Episode 18–Fostering Six Tiny Kittens Day 1

tigger-aloneI got the call from the Lange Foundation in the middle of running errands; they had 6 kittens that needed a foster mom as soon as possible. The kittens had been dropped into the arms of a volunteer that morning with no explanation of where the mother was or even if she was still live. Some of the babies still needed a bottle. I’ve fostered cats of all ages so when I arrived at the shelter and saw the condition of the kittens I was not happy. Scrawny, lethargic, dirty and too young to be without a mom kittens like these can get infections easily and before you know it they are gone. In this litter there was one little girl I was worried about. Half the size of her siblings she had a gunky-caked shut eye and was so thin I could feel her ribs. Since the situation is so fragile I will chronicle it day by day.

Day 1 – Touch and Go The shelter loaded my car with cat toys and I brought the kittens home to my bathroom where they will live in quarantine. I usually keep fosters in quarantine for a few days until they get a clean bill of health. These kittens are going to stay in quarantine to protect them from my large and now pissed off house cats. My cats now refuse to speak to me and sit on the cable box next to the television staring at me with a look that clearly says, “What have you done?”

My task tonight is to get a solution of half wet kitten food half water into them using a small needle free syringe as a bottle. They are curled in a small cat bed together, and don’t really want to move. I pick them up one by one and try to get them to eat. They aren’t interested so I gently wedge the syringe into the side of their mouths and squirt in a small bit of food. Now they understand and they start sucking on it like a bottle. They each eat several syringes full of food and water. I take a damp cloth and de-gunk eyes which open slightly. I hope gunk is not an infection. Now it’s best to let them sleep and try to get stronger.