The call came out of the blue from my daughter, Jenn. A newborn kitten had been discovered abandoned in the dirty, dark corner of a feed mill. Workers nearby heard its plaintive cries and sought help for the tiny creature. Mother cat was nowhere to be found.
She asked if I would be willing to foster it for a few days, until other arrangements could be made. I hesitated. My experience with kitten care was quite limited and neonates? Nil. I considered. What if it died in my care? Then, what if it didn’t? I was on the road to her office within minutes.
We cooed over the little black ball of fur snuggled in the cardboard box. It was no bigger than a mouse. She picked it up gently and it eagerly sniffed for the miniature baby bottle with eyes sealed shut. I felt encouraged by its energy in latching on and finally taking some formula. Jenn gave me a crash course in baby kitten care before I left, carefully balancing my new responsibility.
That was five weeks ago. I’m thrilled to report that my baby boy kitten, Cubby is doing fine. It has been a learning curve for both of us, but Jenn and her husband Brent were a great help as was the Internet and the informative staff at Pet Valu.
It had been years since my nightly baby feedings, but somehow little reminders came to me from the past. As with my own babies, I enjoyed nourishing this little one, keeping him warm enough (critical for the survival of newborn kittens) and getting a pleasant surprise in how gratifying this whole experience was for me.
Cubby had his first vet check at four weeks of age. I watched with pleasure as the staff gushed over this little furry dynamo. One technician told me that neonates rarely survive without their mother. I wasn’t aware of this and told her of my inexperience and worries of the previous weeks. She laughed and said, “Just like a first time mom!”
Doesn’t everyone like happy endings?