Sunday, August 26, 2012
RESCUING A KITTEN, Part 2
Last week, I blogged about how we'd found a kitten in our backyard. I made a vet appointment for the day after we found her, knowing there could be physical problems--fleas, worms, runny eyes to name a few. What I was really concerned about was feline leukemia. I think that's why we didn't name her before the appointment.
My husband kept the appointment because I had another appointment around the same time. Fortunately, the vet took him early and he put me on speaker phone so we could have a conference call and I could ask questions. After forty years of marriage, he knows I always have questions! But the fact that this vet and tech would do that proved we'd chosen a good veterinarian.
The kitten's little paws were scraped from whatever time she'd been outside on her own. We'd had a week of storms. But the vet said they'd heal. Her coat was good which shows some degree of health and she didn't have ear mites. But... She did have fleas and the vet gave her the first part of that treatment, saying we should give her a bath in 48 hours to wash away the flea dirt. I had never given a cat a bath! She also gave her the worming medicine and her first distemper shot. Her runny eyes were a problem because of our other cats. But she advised us to keep the cats separated, watch her eyes and also be alert for sneezing which could indicate an infection.
Thank goodness the feline leukemia test was negative.
The total cost for the vet was $130.
When my husband brought her home, we considered names. I had created a character named Zoie in one of my books who ran away to find her bliss. Just holding her, stroking her and caring for her filled me with a lot of joy. So we named our new family member Zoie Joy.
Because Zoie's little body was being taxed with the vaccine, fleas and a possible virus/infection, I wanted to help her heal. We chose healthy kitten foods (Blue and Wellness, both wet and dry with the intention of trying them one at a time) and bought a milk substitute for kittens that was chock full of vitamins. We left a tablespoon of that at night. Zoie was eating about 8 times a day. Kittens should be able to have food on demand whenever they want it during that first year. I had decided to feed her mostly canned food and supplement with dry because in the past with other kittens, too much dry food and water caused diarrhea. We made another vet appointment for a week later for her second distemper injection and to check eveything else.
The hardest part of all of this was keeping Zoie separated from the other cats. Ebbie and London wondered where I was disappearing to for hours at a time. The sunroom is attached to our basement. But I was mostly concerned about Ebbie. When we'd brought her home from an acquaintance's farm, she'd been a very sick kitten. She couldn't even meow because of her cough. Although we helped her fight off the infection and she's been healthy the past eleven years, the virus which caused it remains in her system and could reappear because of stress. I hoped to prevent that from happening.
More next week about Zoie Joy, her bath and what came next. If you have any of your own cat rescue stories you'd like to share, please feel free to do so. I'd like to hear them.
© 2012 Karen Rose Smith
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