A woman came into the hospital as I was getting ready to leave for my three day weekend with a two week old kitten. She said her cat had a litter of five, three are eating well and seem fine, one died, and this one was not eating and mom was ignoring him. They didn’t know what else to do, so I told them I would take him and try to keep him alive. On the car ride home (20 minutes with traffic) I thought he passed twice, but each time when I rubbed him he would start crying. I got him home and on a heat pad, and tried to get him to take some formula which he wanted to but was too weak to suckle. Unfortunately he just died in my lap.
I share this because I know from a lot of my videos and photos fostering looks easy and a lot of fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and it is SO rewarding, but it is a lot of hard work and emotionally can be tough. I’ve fostered close to three dozen kittens from birth to 7 weeks old in age, and have only lost three (and only kept one!!). One was a one week old who died due to being eaten alive by maggots which Dr. Sheehan and I spent an hour taking out of his little body. The second was two weeks old and had feline distemper. And now this baby.
Please, please, PLEASE spay and neuter your cats, and vaccinate them! Thousands of kittens die every day, and could be avoided if people just did these two simple things.
Going in to this, I knew his chances were slim. I knew I had my hands full with three other kittens, and I knew this meant I was going to have to get up every two hours to feed and stimulate this little baby. But I also knew that if I had said no, and did not try, that I would regret it.
So rest easy now, little one. I only spent a half hour with you, but I loved you with all my heart.