by Elisa Black-Taylor
Bella is the only survivor
First of all I'd like to say this article may not be as organized as I would like. Tonight my Annabelle is in pain from a possible broken leg and that's weighing on me pretty hard. She got her claw hung in a roller in back of the kitchen drawer. I never thought a cat could get caught up in something like that. I'll do an article on that experience over the weekend once she sees the vet this morning.
As for the kittens, we've had our ups and downs. Sweetie Pie, a litter mate to Sugar Pie, had to be euthanized on Friday. I had picked him up on Wednesday night and he felt limp. He was still running around and playing and eating so I didn't think much of it. By Thursday afternoon we were giving him fluids. I planned to take him to the vet on Friday if he hadn't improved. He had no symptoms of anything. No runny nose, watery eyes or change in his routine. He was severely dehydrated even with the fluids Laura had given him and his nervous system was shutting down by the time I got him to the vet.
It was hard losing him as he was very feral when we rescued him and had turned into a kitten who wanted to be held.
We've had all of the other kittens on a tetracycline drug and also on a product called SilverBiotics. My daughter and I have a routine for administering this to the kittens. They have to take a piece of a tablet twice daily. I hold the kitten like a baby, Laura places the pill on the back of the tongue then squirts a little of the SilverBiotics into the mouth to help the kitten swallow.
Vine was the worst of the kittens infection wise. She had crusted eyes and her nose was even crusted up. I was very afraid she'd be the next to die. She's doing great on the new medicine and she has quickly become my lap cat. All of the kittens are responding well to the new medicines. I hope the worst is over now.
The shelter I rescue from had an outbreak of feline distemper. None of my kitties showed any signs, so I'm hoping this happened after my last rescue. They had to euthanize dozens of kittens to get things under control. I sounded like an anxious mother on the phone to my vet. He calmed me down by explaining none of my kittens had distemper symptoms, plus they'd all had their vaccinations.
I don't plan on any more kitten rescues. Laura adores the babies, but I think she's learned they are at a disadvantage when it comes to illness. Most are born to mothers who are either too malnourished or ill or too young to provide the nutrition the kittens need.
I've always held an affection for adult cats. I can read their behavior patterns, plus they have more going for them where fighting off feline illnesses is concerned.
Frankie and Pinky (Mr. Pink Eye) have both found furever homes. A mother and her adult daughter adopted them and they will have weekly play dates together. Calypso was also adopted. We found out she is a he. Oh well. And Calypso is already getting into trouble in his new home. He played hide and seek with his new family and didn't resurface from hiding until HE was ready.
One of my foster friends took Pippa, Johnny and Jane. She had planned to rescue a few kittens from GCAC when everything fell through because of the outbreak of distemper. She offered to take a few of mine and it really helped me out.
Cupcake will be going to a home three hours away in a couple of weeks. And Stitch will be leaving later this month or in August. He's still the tiniest of the kitties. Stitch has Furby's disposition. He walks around the house like he's in charge. He'll walk over a dog or under a dog if the dog gets in his way. His eyes have finally cleared up on the new medications. He's the toughest to treat. My daughter has nicknamed him "Lockjaw" because he clamps his jaws together, refusing both pill and liquid. Sorry Stitch, you're going to take your medicine so get used to it!
And I have to mention Garfield. He still sits on my lap and looks at me as though I'm the most special person in the world to him. He's still so GRATEFUL to be in a real home.
I can't end this update without mentioning Cocoa. He's really come out of his shell. He lays on the new table, sometimes in the condo or on top of the Bootsie Bunk Bed. He also spends time on the cat tree by the living room door. Misty, our other declawed cat, has also moved into the living room. She's been so hard to work with. I really believe the declawing scarred her personality for life. She and Cocoa have the same sad look in their eyes. I believe they know this about each other and remain close as they catnap. The two are usually within a foot of each other as they sleep.
The kittens discovered the cat tree in my bedroom yesterday. It's the first time they've ventured out of the living room on their own. I could hear them playing as I was trying to sleep. We're keeping an extra close eye on Bella since she's the only surviving kitten in the litter she came from.
I would highly recommend the SilverBiotics. I actually took a dose of this the first day, along with a teaspoon of raw local honey. The next day I awoke feeling great. Didn't know what was wrong with me because most days I feel sluggish from the arthritis. I'll definitely be keeping this product on hand.
That's pretty much it on the kittens. I'll write an article on Annabelle once we find out about her leg.
I've added LOTS of photos to my new site on Flickr.com/furbyshouse. Please check them out and enjoy.