Don’t count your kittens before they crash.
This day started like every other horrible day in fostering. Michael woke me up to inform me that we needed to go the the shelter because one of the kittens was crashing. That would be Renée, the one who I was so surprised to still have alive. She was still pretty warm, which I thought was a good sign. We caught her early, and usually a kitten caught crashing the earlier stages has a better outcome. We got her to the shelter, and they rushed her back. The foster coordinator came back a few minutes later to tell me that she was dead. It honestly didn’t hit me that hard at first. I waited around while they did a precautionary Panleukopenia snap test. What I wasn’t prepared for is that the test came back positive.
This means many bad things. If one kitten in a litter has Panleuk, all of the kittens are likely to have it. The mortality rate is really high, and it is very contagious. Shelters will go into lockdown while they sanitize, quarantine, and euthanize affected kittens. This year has been particularly bad for that disease here in Colorado. For a foster parent, that means your home is going into quarantine and you can’t foster again for at least 6 months (although if you have a completely separate room, you may be able to continue fostering).
After Renée died, I had to go home and get the other 6 kittens. I worried all the way to the shelter that they would test positive. I was sure that Alice was going to come up positive, given how rough her life has been in the last week. Fortunately, not a single other kitten tested positive. But the complications aren’t over yet.
I am leaving town on Wednesday. Lamb is going to stay with Duck and the other cats until her ringworm test comes back negative. The other 6 kittens need much more supervision. They cannot go back to the shelter because there is nowhere they can be quarantined. If I had to send the little guys back, they’d be euthanized. Luckily, Julie’s going to look after them while I am out of town. The complication with that is Julie is a doula, and she has a client expecting a birth during that same time-frame. My petsitter, fortunately, may be able to give the kittens a feeding or 2 if Julie has to go to a birth. It’s really great that I have people to count on in this sort of emergency, but man – this isn’t cool.
I’m going to owe so many people so big…