As often happens, yesterday morning brought some interesting unexpected events around here and now Rosehaven Cottage has a temporary little houseguest for the holidays and probably for a some time beyond that as we "foster" her until she's well enough to find her "forever home".
I was sitting in the back of the seminary classroom yesterday morning at 6:40 am while my team teacher was conducting a worksheet exercise, when one of my students showed up late, peeked his head in the door, and motioned for me to come out in the hall. He had a little kitten wrapped up in a towel. It's head was covered in dried mucus from its eyes and nose. Its eyes were almost sealed shut by the gunk and its nose was too. My student told me that on the way to class, his mother had almost hit the kitten with her van as the kitten was curled up in the middle of the street. The student's mother didn't see it until the last minute, slammed on her brakes, and came to a screeching halt with the bumper hovering over this motionless kitten. It was still 32°F outside (that's 0°C for my non-U.S. readers). The little thing was probably freezing to death--literally.
My student's mother didn't know what to do and just wanted to leave it there, thinking the kitten belonged to someone in the neighborhood. My student wouldn't accept that answer, bundled the little thing up, and said, "Cindy will know what to do, Mom." And that's how I was introduced to this little kitten that had a brush with death yesterday in more ways than one.
I took the kitten to my vet as soon as their offices opened. I have an amazing vet with an incredible staff. Dr. Laurie Noe and her staff at Well-Pet Animal Clinic are the epitome of what you want a vet to be: loving, caring, compassionate, intelligent, quick-thinking, and affordable. The doctor wasn't able to see the kitten for a couple of hours, so in the meantime kitten napped in the cozy carrier I had her in with a warm cuddly box in it. Once she had a decent nap in a warm place, her lethargy diminished significantly and she transformed into a sweet and affectionate little kitten.
Purry and adorable, but still sneezing and coughing from the mucus, the kitten went in to see the doctor at 10:45 am. She was first tested for all the scary things like feline AIDS and leukemia. All those tests came back negative so it was wise to proceed with further treatment which included: de-worming, ear mite treatment, eye ointment, antibiotics, and flea drops. She was a little trooper and was affectionate and purred through the whole thing. The vet guessed she's about 8 weeks old (or maybe an underweight 10 week old). She only weighs 1.5 lbs. so we need to get some weight on her. Luckily, I walked out of the vet with a free courtesy "new kitten kit" that had a 4 lb. container of premium kitten food from Purina! Sweet!
Both Hubby and I don't feel good about adding one more kitty to our family so we weren't going through the process of naming her (note the key word in that sentence is "weren't"). We did photograph her for my seminary student so he could make "FOUND" posters for the area where he picked her up. Even though I avoided naming her, yesterday evening Hubby came up with the nickname of Skate which stands for Stray Kitty Eight (since this is the eighth cat in our home right now). It seems to fit since the little one also "skated" on the brink of death yesterday.
Since Skate needs to remain in isolation while she has ear mites and the upper respiratory virus (and because she isn't going to become a permananent resident in our home) Hubby and I spent yesterday coming up with a special living arrangement for her. Earlier this summer, my ingenious and ever-resourceful sister had figured out a way to build a rabbit cage using storage cubicle panels from Target that cost $14.99 for a box of 26. I rang her up to ask for tips after we priced other kennel cage options and realized everything else was way too expensive! My sister pointed me in the right direction, and we procured two boxes of the necessary panels as well as a carpeted two-level kitty condo and a container of cable ties to supplement our own existing supply. We spent last night building a cage for the little thing while she napped in the carrier I had outfitted for her with food, water, and a bed.
Skate's kennel now resides in my studio on my worktable. My studio is where I work all day so she isn't lonely. She has plenty of room to run around (which she's doing a lot of this afternoon). She's already got a lot of energy and is acting like a spunky little kitten should. She has a square of lavender fake fur in the lower cubby of the condo that she slept on all night and has napped on. Sleep is the best medicine for her right now. She's eating VERY well, her eyes are clearing up, and her mucus is dimishing--all very good signs.
Hubby fashioned a high shelf for her out of a spare panel and one of the un-used shoe brackets in the storage cubicle kit. She's already using it despite her obviously slightly deformed front paws and legs (probably a birth defect).
I suspect that it won't take long for Skate to be the necessary 2.5 lbs. to have her spayed by my trusty vet so she can be placed in her future "forever home" wherever that may be.