Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sometimes They Die

It's not something that happens often, but since I do write so much about our experiences fostering kittens, I should tell you that sometimes a foster kitten will die.

White Mittens came to us already ill, with chronic diarrhea. We medicated her, and kept her clean, and encouraged her to eat, and just as importantly we cuddled her, and talked baby talk to her, and carried her around in Sydney's doll sling:

Alas, poor babe, she lived with us for a week and then she died in the night. I can't say that she had a happy life, since she spent it all being ill, but she did have comfort, and a family, and two kids who loved her quite a lot.

Giving them a better end is just as important as giving them a great beginning.


Tina said...

We are currently taking care of our first baby kitten. I found him abandoned on the farm that I work at. Poor little guy was a ball of fuzzy mud after a night in the rain. We estimate that he is about 3 weeks old so we have been bottle feeding him. So far he seems to be doing pretty well, but I remind my 6yo that there is a possibility that he may not make it, but we are giving him a fighting chance.
How long do you typically foster your kittens for, and how old are they when they come to you?

julie said...

We've never had kittens as young as 3 weeks, although a friend of mine HAS had kittens that they need to bottle feed, and she currently even has a litter of wee babes (along with their mother, thank goodness!). I'd guess that the youngest we've gotten them is six weeks. We keep them until they weigh 2 pounds, which is the minimum weight at our shelter for neutering and adoption. Sometimes that can take two months, although the little guy that we have with us now is fat and frisky and we might only need to keep him for two weeks, total.

I should tell you, though, that I LIED to my children about White Mittens. See, Sydney had been carrying her around and loving on her, not understanding that she was dead, and I just couldn't tell her. If someone else had found her, or even if Sydney had found her and simply brought her to me instead of snuggling her and kissing her and petting her for 20 minutes first, I would have explained the truth, but instead I told them that we needed to take White Mittens back to the Humane Society to get some better medicine, and then they'd give her to her forever family right away.


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