You win some, you lose some

I have about a billion stories to tell from this weekend. The most important stuff happened last night and today, so we’ll start there.

You lose some

I had hoped that I had won a battle with ringworm. Nebby lived with the Constellations for several weeks and didn’t contract it. I sprayed the kitten room and surrounding areas with a few anti-ringworm treatments. Nebby was prophylactically treated with the lime sulfur dip. Neither my own cats nor I contracted ringworm.

But I lost the battle anyway. I woke up on Sunday and Neb’s face was missing fur. We’ve started treatment, but it will take awhile. It’s ok because he has several weeks left until he makes weight. Still, I have to treat my house again until and after he leaves. I guess Nebby was just carrying it asymptomatically for awhile. Sigh.

You win some

I feel very happy that Cream Puff was in good hands this weekend and that I was able to take this picture of her today. A lot of the foster parents were travelling this weekend, and I ended up with so many other kittens that noticing abnormalities in one of them would have been challenging. I believe that Gary and Claire may well have saved her life.

Last night I was at Carisa’s house, when I got a phone call. Gary’s name came up on my caller ID. He and Claire had just taken 3 of my kittens a few days ago, and given that they are new foster parents, I wanted to be there for them at any time, no matter what. Gary was pretty concerned because Cream Puff was losing a little bit of weight every day, rather than gaining as she should have. I gave him several options, and bless his heart, he chose to try to care for her himself and check in with me in the morning to see how it was going. That is a very brave thing for a new foster parent to do.

The next morning Gary called again as planned. He was very concerned for Cream Puff because she had gotten lethargic. He decided to bring Cream Puff and her siblings back to me because he felt that he wouldn’t have enough time over the next few days to watch them as closely as he would have liked. That was all just fine with me. It would give them time to think the whole fostering thing over and decide if they felt it was something they wanted to do on a more regular basis. Plus, Malomar and the bottle-feeders were moving back to their regular foster parents today, leaving me with more time for the 6 kittens I had left.

When they arrived, Cream Puff started crashing. She was limp, she couldn’t hold her head up, and she had lost hydration. I was (to put in mildly) concerned. We put Cream Puff on a heat disk, gave her sub-q fluids, and rubbed Karo syrup in her mouth. Linda and I tried this trick with the star kittens and lost them, so I didn’t have much hope.

Within a few minutes Cream Puff was able to hold her head up again. She bit me pretty hard, either from fear or because I smelled like food – either way, it was a sign of life, a miracle. She kept trying to get off the heat disk. I brought the whole rig to the floor so the poor thing wouldn’t fall if she got away from me. She kept struggling, so I let her go. Clumsily, Cream Puff made her way to the kitten room and started eating. She has been eating all day since then, and has made the most dramatic recovery I have ever seen in my life. I would by no means call her “out of the woods,” but I just cannot believe how much better she looks. The only things Cream Puff has done today were eating and sleeping (preferably with the people), but she is alive. Holy shrimp. Gary called me a few hours after our successful kitten revival, and I could tell he expected to hear that she died anyway.  I got to tell him she was still ok!

If I had to lose one of these battles and win the other, I definitely would have chosen the outcome I got. I don’t feel like I can say that often. It just feels so good to have revived a nearly dead kitten.  

I still had the bottle feeders when we went to Carisa’s house yesterday. It was surprisingly easy to care for them even though I wasn’t home – I just packed a kitten diaper bag and off we went! Anyway, Carisa fosters for Rattie Ratz and has rats of her own. It was a novelty for Carisa to see kittens that were smaller than her rats, so we had to take pictures!   

When you are a foster parent, everything comes down to poo. Michael told Carisa about how we spent a great deal of time watching kittens take a dump that day in order to figure out which ones had diarrhea. True to her improv roots, Carisa blurted out “Well, now you can get rid of your cable because you can just watch kittens poop!” If only she knew… we are so behind on our TiVo shows right now.

I recently added a new section to my sidebar. I am trying to make a terms and abbreviatons list so that the things I say make a little sense to those who read my blog but are not experts in the subjects I talk about. If you don’t understand a term and you can’t find it in one of my pages, please leave a comment and I will add any terms you don’t understand to the list. I will just keep updating it as things come up.



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