Last night, I went out to say good night to Harry, and I heard a kitten in distress. It wasn’t one of the four new ones. It was on the other side of the wooden fence between the fence and the neighbor’s old shed. I couldn’t see anything even after I got the flashlight. I kept calling it, but to no avail.
This morning as soon as I went out the back door, the same kitten started crying again. This time I could see it wedged between the fence and a pipe. I pulled the little guy out and freaked out. The poor kitten was shivering and its eyes were caked over. I shifted the inside pups and cats around and got the kitten into a crate in my bathroom. I had nothing but powered milk, so I fed it some with a syringe after cleaning its eyes. (I warmed it in the microwave.) I put a warm binkie in the crate and hurried off to work.
Since I had a class at 9:00 and the SPCA didn’t open until then, Roberto called them for me. It was a no-go. The kitten had to weigh 2 lbs. Same thing with our vet. Before class, I ran around asking if anyone knew someone with a nursing mother cat and I got nothing. However, one teacher who had helped me place one of the April Fool’s Day kittens said she would call her vet if needed.
By 10:00 Roberto had reported back the disappointing news, and then I told my colleague. She called her vet and in ten minutes had a name and number for me. There is a woman who takes in orphan kittens. I called her and pled the kitten’s case. She said she would call another woman who had nursing mom cats and get back to me. By 11:45 she hadn’t heard back, but she said if the kitten was still alive to bring it.
My last class went by like molasses. I even told my students why I was so anxious. (They asked.)
Finally 1:00 came and I rushed home. The kitten was alive! He was very sleepy. He didn’t mind the car ride much. He did cry a little bit.
It was easy to find the kind woman’s house. She shook my extended hand when we met and patted it — a kind woman. She took the kitten from me, declared him a boy and he promptly peed. She took it in stride, swept us both into her house and proceeded to clean the little guy up. She put some ointment in his eyes and then gave him a squirt of pink liquid vitamins, telling him he wouldn’t like it. She was right. After he got a taste of it, he held his little head straight up and shook it with displeasure.
He then got his bottle while I got to meet his nine new kitten mates. He’s now 10 of 10. After he finished, I helped move the 10 kitten to their crate full of things to climb on and play with. A couple of the kittens went to dig in the litter box and before long, the new boy was at the bottom of a big kitten pile.
We talked for a bit, and then I had to get back to work. I’m hopeful he will survive.
When I got home, all of the kittens were waiting for me. While they were eating, I took a closer look between the slats of the fence, and sure enough, there were three more tiny kittens sleeping in a tiny pile.
But who is the mom?
I had always thought one of the kittens looked slightly — ever so slightly — bigger than the other three. I waited. And waited. And then she slipped under the fence to the other side and I watched her go straight to the little pile of kittens.
Apparently, the little one I found this morning had slipped down from their precarious perch on the junk between the fence and the neighbor’s storage shed and perhaps either mom couldn’t get him out, or being so young, didn’t know to.
I will have to talk to my neighbor and get the kittens to a safe place. I’ll have to be careful. It’s imperative that I figure this out and do it right. Mom kitten is just too small and this is clearly her second litter in a very short period of time.