Yesterday, I was almost totally unproductive. I woke up feeling disoriented and vaguely tired. I couldn’t focus, but I needed to get some housework done. All I managed was to clean the kitten room and make dinner. Woo.
The day almost ended uneventfully. Carisa came over for dinner and was just going to hang out a little longer before Michael brought her home. I decided to give Endora fluids, because even thought she had almost gotten better, she went back down hill. As I warmed the fluids, the kitten started to crash. She evacuated her bowels – one of the last thing a body does when it dies. I gave the poor thing fluids and some Karo syrup while she rested on her heat disk. She wasn’t responding. Her respiration slowed, and her heart almost stopped. Almost.
Suddenly, Endora popped back to life. She lifted her head and was able to focus on me. I offered her a bottle – she was almost too big for that, but when a kitten’s sick, all bets are off. She devoured that thing. Michael took Carisa home while I held the baby on her disk, and she slowly improved. By the time Michael had gotten home, she was ready to eat solid food.
I slept with Endora on the couch last night. Even though I saved her life when she was crashing, I knew we weren’t out of the woods. The kitten sat up and moved around, but she couldn’t quite walk yet. Almost. At some point she darted out of my lap and gobbled down more wet food in that one sitting than she had done in the entire last month that I’ve lived with her. At that point, I was almost confident that she was going to be ok. She held my hand for awhile, comforting both of us. She even purred for me in the middle of the night.
At about 3:00 in the morning, Endora darted out of my arms again and ran to the coffee table where I stored her litter box, food, and emergency supplies. She almost made it to the litter box, but she started to poo on my coffee table instead. It’s ok, she was really sick. I put her in her box to finish her business. She stood there for awhile, and when I thought she was almost done, she collapsed.
I picked her up and put her back on the heat disk. She was able to take some of the bottle, but it was almost over for her. She looked at me and rubbed her cheek against my hand. I told her to rest while I pet her face and tucked the towels around her. I was just waiting for it to be over.
At about 3:30, Endora started to cry and thrash a bit. She was almost gone, and I inteded to let her go peacefully in my arms. By 4:00 she was still hanging on. Endora wanted to live, but her body just couldn’t make it happen. I called another foster parent so an Animal Control officer could take her to the hospital to be put down. She was suffering so much that I just couldn’t take it any more.
I woke Michael up, and he drove me to the shelter. The officer asked what was wrong with the kitten. I have no idea – sometimes it’s just failure to thrive. He said he’d take her to the emergency hospital. He said that the last 2 dying foster kittens actually survived when they got emergency treatment. He gave me a number to follow up with in the morning. I am almost certain that they can’t save her. I’m still waiting for the call back.
There was a bit of purpose to my trip to the shelter. As I waited for the officer to let me in, I noticed that someone had abandoned a rat on the bench in front of the shelter. Who does that in the middle of the night? The rat almost spent the night alone and cold, save for the fact that I noticed her sitting there.
I almost didn’t save anyone today. Almost.