The deep satisfaction that comes with rescuing and fostering homeless, abandoned, and at-risk cats comes when you finally find the perfect match for their adoption. Fostering cats and kittens can literally save their lives. Here’s a happy ending for my foster cat and kitten.
Rescuing and Fostering Mama Cat and Kitten from Severe Neglect
Two months ago I received a desperate phone call from one of my fosters. She told me the family across the street from where she was working had two litters of pit bull puppies (15 puppies in all) along with a mother cat who had a litter of kittens, and eight of the kittens had just been killed by the pit bulls. The last remaining kitten was weak, thin and vulnerable due to the dogs and the mama cat was showing signs of extreme stress having just lost her kittens. Thankfully, she was able to convince the owners to give the mama cat and kitten to her, since they were clearly overwhelmed with the dogs and had been very negligent with the cats. She then proceeded to bring the mama and kitten to my house to foster them and provide for their needed medical treatment and recovery.
That night when they arrived, the 4-week-old kitten was severely dehydrated, vomiting, and flea infested. Not able to stop her vomiting and knowing she was losing fluids quickly, I raced both mama cat and kitten to Sage Emergency Care Center in Concord, located very close to my house. From my early years of fostering kittens, I knew how incredibly vulnerable they were, and how their health can take a turn for the worse rapidly. In emergency, the kitten was quickly examined, received subcutaneous fluids, a Parvo Snap test and a PCV/TS blood test for anemia and red blood cell counts, plus was given an injection of Anzemet to stop the vomiting and relieve the nausea. The kitten’s red blood cell count was an alarming 40 percent of normal, plus she was badly anemic from a flea infestation. Mama cat was given the FIV/FeLV Combo Test to screen for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV)—fortunately the results were negative for her, which was a great relief. I went home after midnight to get some sleep, and nine hours later, both kitten and mama cat were signed out and came home with me, where they were to begin their rehabilitation in my upstairs bathroom.
Medical Rehabilitation and Daily Care
The next week I maintained a laser focus on addressing kitten’s lost red blood cell count with intensive syringe feeding of KMR every two hours; daily subcutaneous fluids for hydration; syringing Immune Plus three times a day to stimulate the immune system; syringing an herbal powder mixed with water for nausea and stomach distress; and administering proper deworming and defleaing treatments.
Within four days kitten went from complete lifelessness and listlessness to being an energized, happy kitten running, jumping, and playing full time, and leaping onto her mama’s back with pure joy. Once kitten turned the corner, she immediately began eating wet food and returned to nursing, then promptly started gaining weight—a good sign! It was a miracle to watch this transformation and a pleasure to witness kitten’s amazing healing and recovery.
Now better able to focus on the mama cat as kitten’s health was more stable, I observed that mama cat’s right eye was constantly draining and causing her some discomfort. So I took her to the vet where she was given a corneal eye stain to check for corneal abrasions and damage, and was given a blood chemistry panel and a PCR Upper Respiratory Test to check for Bordetella, Chlamydia, Calicivirus, Herpes 1, influenza and Mycoplasma—all that could cause her eye problems.
So for the next two weeks, I gave mama cat daily prescriptions for Terramycin and an anti-inflammatory eye drop, which was repeated for another two weeks by her 2nd foster. When mama’s eyes were finally clear and her tearing stopped—we took them to their first adoption weekend—two long months after beginning their care and rehabilitation. Last week, I had the mama cat spayed, and under anesthesia, had her right eye tear duct examined, but the vet discovered he was unable to clear it due to extensive scar tissue that has formed from long term chronic upper-respiratory illness when she was younger. Likely this was caused by not mama cat never being given the proper FVRCP vaccine protocol and being left to live outside where she was exposed to more germs.
From Misery to a New Home
Mama cat, now named Sabrina—along with the kitten now named Simone—were adopted yesterday at our adoptions by a wonderful, loving couple that had lost their two cats last year due to old age last year. They patiently waited a year before adopting another pair of cats, and fell in love with mama and her kitten, who are inseparable and deeply bonded to one another.
On Wednesday, I will drive Sabrina and Simone to their new home in Alameda, and say my last good-byes to them. I’m sure I will cry as I finally walk away as they have touched me with their special beautiful souls and loving spirits, but I will be incredibly happy for them as they begin their new life and adventure filled with people who will love them, care for them, and provide for them with a safe, healthy, happy home. I could not ask for more for the two of them—they deserve this.
All cats and dogs deserve a safe, loving, caring, healthy home that will be committed to them for their entire lives. So when we find a good adoption match for the cats in our temporary care, we feel a sense of relief and a cause for celebration, but we also feel a deep honor and gratitude to have met these special cats that have given us so much.
Bless you Sabrina and Simone, and here’s to many wonderful years ahead in your new home!