Yeah, you're not getting blurbs from me. Sorry. Some might argue that I'm not all that coherent at the best of times, but at the moment, I can't pretend to make any kind of sense at all. I'm running on sleep caught in 2 hour shifts because I'm unexpectedly a new mom.
Saturday morning, one of the colony caretakers called in a panic because someone had driven up in the middle of the night and dumped this litter of kittens at the colony. None of the other colony caretakers had the bandwidth to take on fostering the babies, so they landed in my lap.
Yes. They're adorable and fluffy and cute. But they were in very serious condition when they got to me. They'd been without food and warmth for long enough, they'd started to shut down. It took concerted effort to bring three of the four back from the brink of death. The fourth kitten couldn't recover.
We looked for another foster solution for these babies. I have two elderly females who I'd promised would get to have peaceful, kittenless retirements. One of those females is chronically ill. So I was doubly motivated to find another placement for the kittens. It was the Humane Society of Tampa Bay who sat me down and explained that in a complete reversal of what I'm accustomed to, it is the peak of kitten season in Florida. No one was going to take these kittens from me because all the inns are full to bursting. The only option I had was to take them to the Pinellas County shelter which cannot turn an animal away - the only problem is that they euthanize bottle babies seconds after they come through the door because that shelter simply doesn't have the man power to care for tiny kittens. That was a nope.
And this is my plea. Consider fostering an animal for your local Humane Society or local shelter. It needn't be kittens. Any animal you foster still belongs to the shelter and the shelter handles all veterinary care. You provide food, love, walks and possibly a little training. What you don't see is that by taking that animal out of a shelter cage, the animal is automatically more adoptable (and not just by you if you foster fail.) You, as the foster care-giver, will provide SO much more information to potential adopters. The adopters know the animal knows how to behave in a home environment. You'll be able to answer temperament questions and relay funny or endearing stories about the foster critter that will draw adopters in. You'll also be clearing space for another animal in desperate need. By fostering one, you save two. At least. You don't need much.
Here's my set up for the babies. A plastic bin with old towels, a pet heating pad (only covers one half of the bin, only turns on with an animal is on it, and only heats to 102.) More towels a stuffed animal as a cuddle buddy, and a cover to keep the AC from blowing on them. In a week, I'll need another solution, cause they're already starting to attempt jail breaks. But for now, these babies are easily portable. The first two days, they went with me wherever I went so I could feed them any
Makes for some tough nights getting up to feed every three hours. But it's worth it.
We're joking now that we're growing our own Halloween Decorations. And yes. I did name them Crow, Raven, and Corvid. You need only hear them to comprehend why.
My elderly girls are deeply unimpressed and, in fact, we just had the vet in for Hatshepsut because she stopped eating. But no guilt trips, right? We have meds and I think we might be on our way to getting on track, my poor girl. I'd spare her this stress if I could, but no one else will take these kittens. And no way will they be turned over to a pound just to be killed for being little.
I guess the thing that stays with me is something the vet said after the first kitten died.
He nodded while I cried and said, "You're doing what's right. Not what's easy."
I hope that's true for these three little squeak-monsters (who are currently teething and VERY angry about that development.) It also strikes me as a really thought provoking way to approach writing. Do what's right. Not what's easy. I like it.
Anyone want a kitten? How about three??