When it comes to animals, I’m such a softie! My recent experience confirms that yet again.
A few weeks ago, our daughter’s neighbor found a tiny kitten. She and Diane (daughter) live in the Church Hill area of Richmond. It’s a historic and charming neighborhood with lots of character, but lots of places for cats and kittens to hide if they want to.
The neighbor took it to Church Hill Animal Hospital, and they graciously took it in. I went by for a quick look, afraid that if I dared they would hand it over and say “yours”! That was not the case. Apparently they are quite particular about who adopts animals from them. I was very impressed!
The little one was in rough shape, about three weeks old, weighing only seven ounces. It obviously got separated from the mother, and the vet was not terribly optimistic about the kitten’s future. He needed more TLC than they could give with their busy schedule. As you may have assumed by now, I caved and decided to foster it. You can also probably guess all the rest, but perhaps not the ending.
I wasn’t quite sure how to work with the tiny kitty, but Diane had experience and got us off to a great start. Using a syringe for milk replacement was a bit challenging, but I soon found just the right cat baby food and mixed them. Kitty loved the combo, and the upswing was on!
The first two nights were like caring for a newborn, and I was worn out. But we quickly settled into a routine. We set up a crate with a cozy bed with a heating pad underneath. I used a tiny box top for a spot for him to do business. The vet used recycled newspaper instead of conventional litter. I had never seen it before. It was a great, non-messy choice.
I was managing to stay detached, but very funny, hubby Phillip named the kitten almost the moment he saw it. “Yoda” − don’t you see the resemblance? Initially Yoda was so tiny the vet could not determine sex. Who knew, orange kitties are almost always boys, and this one was no exception. Lucky, I guess “Yoda” works either way.
The cutest moments came when Yoda must have realized − hey, I’m not dead! He came to life in a big way, happy and truly joyous to be alive and well. He was very busy, darting in and out from under the bed, playing with abandon with everything he found interesting and amusing. There is nothing cuter than the antics of a kitten! Wouldn’t you agree!?
If you’ve ever rescued an animal you may have noticed, they have gratitude! Watching Yoda eat voraciously and play until he could play no more, made it worth every bit of trouble.
I really wanted to keep Yoda. Happens we already have a house full of animals, two dogs, two cats, and a temporary quest − Diane’s cat Viv. She did not take kindly to Yoda. Everyone else seemed to be adjusting, but it soon became perfectly clear that Yoda was not safe in our house. So lucky for him and us, our neighbor wanted to adopt him. Not only did he get a great home with two young children who are delighted to have him, he lives right next door and I have visiting privileges. How perfect is that!
It is truly a happy ending for all! And I think I got the kitten thing out of my system, although I would foster again.
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