Kittens are snowflakes. They are each unique, but more fun in piles. They are soft and pretty to look at. They are also fragile.
On Friday, Chicken started to look so bad that I had to try one more time to get a diagnosis for the sick kittens. Duck started to improve, suddenly eating on his own and gaining weight. I thought that Chicken must have the same genetic problem as Duck, especially since she was wasting away like him. I took all the kittens and a fecal sample in to the vet, just in case.
Finally, I got a diagnosis. The kittens have Giardia. It may be secondary to the inherent problem causing the wasting disease, especially since the other 4 kittens who are not related look healthy and vigorous. Still, it was something I could treat.
I took the kittens home and gave them their first dose of the meds. Flagyl tastes terrible, so the kittens gagged and foamed at the mouth afterward. Still, it should have helped them.
This morning I woke up and started the kitten care routine right away. Michael went to the kitten room to get Chicken and Duck for their fluids. “Uh-oh,” I heard. Michael brought Chicken’s mostly dead body to me. I gave her the fluids I had warming in the sink and some Karo syrup, but I didn’t think it would really work. We then took her to the hospital to be euthanized. She melted away, just like a snowflake.
I miss Chicken, but I really feel like I did everything I could. In this group, 4 kittens have had some major illness or event, and 3 came out alive. Those are amazingly good odds. Still, it hurts to have lost even 1.
When I herd the kittens back into their room after an outing, I count 1,2,3,4,5,6,7…oh. One is missing. It still hurts.