Dear Tessa: Kitten Rescue

Dear Tessa, 

We need to play catch-up.  But first let me tell you a little story…  

We got four new farm kittens on Sunday from friends a short distance from us.  It seemed like an appropriate decision to help with mice and other rodents out here in the country.   

Since we have had these cats, you and your sister have been obsessed.  That’s probably an understatement. But it’s rather adorable, really. 

I mean, come on.  Look at you guys! The kittens may not be enjoying your overzealous hugs and forceful drinks at the water dish, but I think they are starting to come around to your kind of love. 

I talked a big game about what their role as farm cats would be here.  But I am a sucker for adorable animals, and I crumbled as soon as I found one of them this afternoon in a very poor state. Shaking, unable to walk and lethargic, etc…this poor cat was not well. 

Oh my dear Lord…we have only had them for a mere three days…how did we manage this already?  How are we such terrible cat owners right out of the gate?! 

I called your dad, who found my level of concern quite amusing.  He clearly was going to be of little help, and I wanted to save this dang kitten.  Or at the very least, give it a good effort.

But here’s the thing…I know very little about what it takes to save cats–or any animal for that matter.  It was well after normal vet hours, and I knew that convincing your dad to let me take it to the vet tomorrow was more than likely not going to be an option.  (You bet I’m throwing that blame on him.)

I found myself doing what I do best and hitting up Google. My Google search history is outrageous and this only adds to its craziness.  I even went as far as entering its symptoms into a petMD website.  Unbelievable.

There I was on the porch, limp kitten laying on my lap, syringe feeding it chicken broth two different times in hopes to get some fluids moving.  It wasn’t looking good for Jack, who used to be Penny.  (I’m sure you can piece that puzzle together). 

Next thing I know, I’m calling my brother and then your Grandpa to get advice. Somehow I end up at Farm and Fleet at 7:30 p.m. to buy a vaccine, which worked out well because the chickens desperately needed feed.  At this point, I’m all-in on this rescue and I have made it my mission to get this cat through the night.  Come on Jack!  

Now I have an incredible fear of needles, and the vaccine needed to be administered in the nape of its neck.  Ok, I can do this. I’m committed, right?  Nope.  I poked it too many times without success and, thankfully, your dad intervened to get the job done. I’ll admit I probably would not make a great vet or nurse or anything of that nature. What started out as a desperate attempt to save this kitten to spare you and your sister the heartache of losing a pet and sparing me the unfortunate task of teaching you about pet death, turned into a personal quest for me to keep this fella kicking so I wouldn’t be sad.  You and your sister didn’t seem to be all that shook up about it.  Figures. 

At this point, I have no idea what’s really wrong with Jack.  I’m just hoping the antibiotic does the trick.  If he lives through this, I’m changing his name to Lucky.  And if he lives long into adulthood, you’re welcome.  

Also…we are not getting anymore animals/pets.  My wimpy heart can’t handle the whole natural selection, circle-of-life business that comes with animals.  

We will catch up next letter.  For now I have to go check on Jack. 

Love, Mom. 

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