On Thursday, we met the director of Pet Project Rescue at our local animal control. There were three 3.5 week old kittens that had been found, without a mama cat anywhere in sight, and needed to be taken in by someone who could bottle feed them every three to four hours. I talked my ladyfriendfiance into it, but it wasn’t too hard since she’s always a sucker for any abandoned animal that needs special help.
When we got there, it turns out there was another kitten from another abandoned litter that was a week or so younger than the three we were going to pick up that desperately needed to go with someone. What’s one more tiny little hungry mouth to feed, right? We took them home and gave them kitten gruel and formula to get some meat on their little bones.
The black baby kitten wasn’t doing to well when we first got him home, so the three gray ones took to their adoptive brother (or sister, we don’t know yet) like I didn’t even realize would be possible. Here he was barely opening his eyes and just scooting around on his stomach, and the three larger kittens piled around him during naptime to keep him warm. And because of those guys, that little black kitten, who we named Chicken because of its alarming resemblance to a baby chicken, has been thriving since then.
Saturday afternoon, the biggest of the gray kittens, Kitten #2 Electric Boogaloo (Lou for short), was a little tired and not his usual bossy self. I didn’t think too much about it because they’re growing and crabby and sleepy a lot. Then later in the evening, I gave him his 7pm snack and he didn’t even want to move. I got all mama cat on him and washed him up with a wash cloth, got him all clean, and didn’t fight me much.
At this point, it’s a 3.5 week old kitten who was improperly weaned, probably wasn’t exactly born in ideal conditions, and knowing it was from a feral mama cat, who knows what kind of nutrition she was able to pass along. I fed the rest of the kittens and got them set for their next round of naps, but couldn’t stop checking on them every 15 minutes.
My ladyfriendfiance came home around 2am from what was supposed to be her very own night out doing absolutely nothing, because she couldn’t stop thinking about him either. I pulled him out of the giant kennel they’re staying in and handed him up to her. He wasn’t breathing, so she held him in her hand and swung him back and forth a few times. Then she seriously gave this kitten CPR. She blew into his tiny mouth and nose and all of a sudden Lou was back in the game.
We wrapped him up in towels, wiped down his face and and rubbed his chest to get his organs firing on all cylinders again. He ate some more formula and started to lift his head on his own. We alternated holding him wrapped up in a towel on a heating pad for another three hours before we couldn’t really stay awake anymore. He was getting back to his feisty self, even trying to swipe at me a couple of times.
We put him in the kennel on the heating pad. Chicken and the other two gray cats (Ace and Trey) just wrapped themselves around Lou. I had my hopes up way more than I should have.
My ladyfriendfiance and I finally went to bed around 5am and woke up again by 8:30am. We both avoided going into the spare bedroom; I think we both kind of knew what we were going to find. She checked the kennel first an all I heard was, “He’s gone, honey”. Lou didn’t quite have enough fight left in him.
This isn’t the first foster we’ve lost. Out of 35+ animals, he’s our second one. Considering most of these cats and dogs wouldn’t have made it one more day on the street, they’ve all proven to be little fighters. I think Lou just hit a little bit hard for me, because Marshall, our cat we adopted through Pet Project Rescue, was in his same shoes. Abandoned. Sickly. Didn’t stand a chance out in street.
RIP Little Lou. At least you got the coolest name we’ve ever given a foster animal and we gave you as much love as we possibly could in your little tiny life.