Rescue Mission and Adoption: Step Two

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Step one of our mission was making the decision to rescue the sick kitten. Step two involved decisions for care and what to do post vet visit. Did we adopt the kitten or find him a new home?

As we put aside all of our playful fun plans, I drove us to the weekend vet clinic to make sure this kitten received the care it needed. On the drive we quickly decided that I would drop Rent-a-Dad and the kitten off while I took the boys to look at Halloween costumes and get them something to eat.

During the short trip, we talked about what we should call the kitten. Rent-a-dad knows that when we name something in our family we tend to keep it. My reasons for naming the kitten were two-fold: I knew that the vet would want a name and I was concerned the kitten might be past saving. I always have a strict rule that every animal deserves a name. I couldn’t bear to think that this kitten who might not survive would pass on without a name. For me the act of naming something is like bestowing a mantle of love. This little creature deserved to know it was loved.

The whole time Rent-a-Dad was at the clinic he kept me up to date on the kitten’s condition and we discussed care. The kitten had a list of things wrong with him that kept growing. From a quick assessment the vet said he had respiratory issues, a mass in his abdomen, lesions in his mouth, and sores on his skin, missing fur, he was severely dehydrated, malnourished and had a bad flea infestation.

The vet wanted to know if they should do blood work or humanely put the kitten to sleep. I had warned Rent-a-Dad of this possibility as I had been through this step with other seriously ill puppies and kittens. We decided to have blood work done and make a decision following that. By now Rent-a-Dad knew this rescue mission also meant adoption because he did not want to return the kitten. Rent-a-Dad wanted to give this kitten every fighting chance that our other fur babies had for survival.

Several hours later and we knew the kitten had a severe infection as its white blood cell count was triple what it should normally be. Based on the other blood work results the kitten did not have feline leukemia. The vet also let us know the likelihood of feline parvo or FIP was slim. The kitten did have worms. They were also concerned because he showed little to no interest in food and water.

After prescribing four different medications and administering subcutaneous fluids, the kitten and Rent-a-Dad were ready for a ride. Following our costume and food adventure, I prepared a sick room for the kitten at our house.

Step two was also officially complete. Not only did the kitten receive care (and a fighting chance at life) but Rent-a-Dad had decided if we couldn’t keep it we would find it a new home that would. Seriously though I am sure this kitten has a new home… ours.

And his name is officially “Winchester”. Rent-a-Dad and I are both big fans of the TV show Supernatural as well as Jared Padalecki’s campaign “Always Keep Fighting”. We felt that the kitten needed a really strong name that would help him keep fighting. The name Winchester seemed just right.

We are almost to the two week mark of having Winchester in our home. In that time he has gained over a pound, re-grown fur, most of his wounds are gone and he is playing just like your average kitten! Even our vet who saw Winchester the day after our emergency visit says it’s a remarkable change. That he has gone from an animal on the verge of death to a healthy normal kitten. We go back in a couple of weeks for additional vaccines and to find out if he needs further testing before he can integrate further into our home. Our own cats have gone from avoiding the door to our sick kitty room to sniffing and being curious about the kitten on the other side of the door.

Rescue Mission and Adoption: Step One

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With the last post on our blog being fourteen days ago, it seems as if we have had a quiet time. Appearances can be very deceiving. In that short time we have squeezed in many activities including a rescue mission.

In my last post I talked about my hopes for never letting go (of foster children) and classes at our annual DCS Foster Parent Conference. Little did I know then that the same weekend Rent-a-Dad and I would be involved in a rescue mission and adoption of another sort.

Plans for that weekend had changed multiple times. As planned commitments evaporated and re-materialized in another month we were free to divide our weekend between our nephews and foster commitments. Saturday became all about the conference while Sunday was all about our nephews. Or so we thought…

Between late starts and other hiccups, Saturday went better then we hoped. Sunday had a much later start than anticipated due to errands taking additional time. With the unexpected errands we ended up arriving at our nephews around lunch time that Sunday.

When we arrived I noticed what I thought was a cute scene between a kitten and two small dogs taking place in the neighbor’s yard. I mistook the kitten for one that belonged to my nephews so I continued to watch as it walked a bit wobbly between the dogs. Quickly I realized that the wobbly walk was not just from taking a few first steps on grass but because the kitten was seriously ill. As the small dogs stretched out their yard cords and the kitten was forced to try and walk on its own it couldn’t do so. Instead of walking, even wobbly, it flopped over on its side and began panting. Based on my knowledge and past experiences with dogs and cats, I was a bit horrified.

When it comes to animals and kids in distress I tend to act without thinking. After shutting the car door I hurried over to check on the kitten. At close inspection it was very obvious that the kitten was in major respiratory distress.

About this time the neighbor came out of his house because his dogs were really barking loudly. We exchanged some pleasantries and I asked if the kitten belonged to him. By now I was sure the kitten did not belong to my nephews. The neighbor politely told me it was his but that I could have it if I wanted because he had others. I kindly told him I was just concerned because the kitten seemed seriously ill and just wanted him to know. Another exchange of pleasantries took place before I went on my way to get my nephews.

An hour later and we were all loading in to the car when one of my nephews asked what was wrong. When I turned to find out what he was talking about he was pointing to the kitten now on the porch laying there in the hot sun. Rent-a-Dad and I looked at each other not knowing what to tell our nephew at that moment. Finally I said the kitten was sick and our nephew asked us to “fix it”.

Even though the whole exchange with the neighbor had been very nice and pleasant there was just something bothering me about the situation. I had a bad feeling that if we dismissed the situation and mollified our nephew, that when I brought the boys home we would find out that the kitten had died. I couldn’t let that happen and neither could Rent-a-Dad.

While Rent-a-Dad went back up to the house of my faux sister (a friend who is like family), I went over to the neighbor’s house and picked up the kitten. The neighbor did say I could take it… When the door opened again I told the neighbor that the boys were so distressed by how sick the kitten seemed that we would in fact take the kitten (at least to the vet) if they really didn’t mind. The neighbor seemed fine with that response and went on about his business.

Now we had the cat in a carrier in our car. Step one of the rescue mission was complete. Step two was a little more difficult.

Click here for the continuation of this story.