Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Little Kitten in The Woodpile

My experience hand raising a feral kitten, later to discover he has four brothers.

I was by no means looking to get another pet. I had lost two of my dogs only three months apart a couple of years ago. It was just to painful to have to have them put down when they got sick. Max, the Keesound was just a puppy when we got him. His kidneys gave out on him. He was 13. Baby, the Maltese ended up with breast cancer. She came from someone who didn’t give her the proper care she deserved. Naturally i spoiled her for the short few years i had her. She was about 18 when she died.

I still have a small “zoo” with Nikki (Max’s daughter 12) Simba my 15 yr old cat, my sons iguana, three turtles, one bird and some fish. All where rescues except for Nikki & the fish. sorry, i don’t have any good bird or fish pictures.

So i know that i have a limited time with the pets i still have. I said to myself i won’t be replacing them. then about  a month ago i was in my back yard with Nikki. She was barking around the woodpile like crazy. I put her inside and went back to see what she was barking at. I figured it was an opossum since i see them around every now and then. I then head a little meow. It was so faint and i didn’t know where exactly where in the woodpile it was coming from. I let out a couple of meows of my own. Then from the bottom of the pile out pops this tiny little black and white kitten. He was so small, just six ounces. I went to the Pet Supermart and spent $18 on a 6 oz can of powdered kitten formula. (later on i found the same formula, twice the size for $20 at a local feed store and a bottle set for $5) I brought him to the Florida Aid to Animals Cost about $50 for office visit and medication. The vet said he was about 3-4 weeks old. All checked out good except a little eye infection. I also had to bottle feed him about every four to five hours or as he demanded. Now here’s the gross part. Very young kittens cannot poop or pee on their own. The momma cat licks them to stimulate the areas. So i had to take a wet paper towel and keep wiping until he went. I held him over a garbage pail while doing this. It also helps to wrap the kitten in a towel so he doesn’t claw up your holding hand (Ouch!)
April 10, 2012
So i named him Buckwheat. I figured he must be part of the little rascals. When there’s one kitten, there’s got to be more.
After a few days, i noticed that he sounded like he had pneumonia. This time i brought him to my regular vet. Another $50 later, the vet said he did have pneumonia and gave me medication to give him every eight hours. Approx. total invested so far on a kitten=$140 in less than two weeks. Never bottle feed kittens on their backs.  I knew this, but somehow he managed to aspirate on the formula anyway. Maybe the hole in nipple was too big? I changed it and didn’t have any more problems. Here he is being bottle fed.
April 17, 2012
Surprise! Buckwheat has four brothers. All needed to be bathed with Dawn dish soap. They had fleas! Never use any flea medication or powders on very young kittens. Buckwheat’s in his bed.
April 25, 2012
So needless to say, i didn’t bring the rest of the little rascals to the vet. A couple of them did have a slight eye infection, but i was able to clear it up with the medicine the vet gave me for Buckwheat.
Here’s the latest photos of the kittens. Buckwheat (yes i’m keeping him) is the smallest, and Spanky is the biggest.  The rest are really didn’t match any of the names from the little rascals. Casper (Siamese)  Spot (has a little spot on his chin) and Bender has a bent tail. Not sure if it’s a deformity or if it had been broken.It works and doesn’t bother him. I did see a feral cat around that has a shorter tail than the others. I had to name them to make it easier.

The good news is they’re all healthy and happy. They are all eating kitten food and are litter box trained. Now the hard part is finding homes for them. I'm supporting them with the sales from my crochet. Let’s just hope a baby elephant doesn’t wander into my yard!

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