Kitten Surprise

So, it has been a while since my last blog post. Our internet router at home has apparently decided to go on strike, making it practically impossible to blog from home in the evenings. We got a replacement router yesterday, so hopefully this fixes my problem. Anyway, a lot has happened since the last time I was able to write a post. On July 30th, I got a phone call from my mom telling me to come up to the grade school because she “had something”. When I got there, she was waiting for me with “something” cupped in her hands. It was a TINY orphaned kitten. That coincidentally looked very similar to Cheese-It, our cat that passed away at the beginning of 2020. This kitten had been on the playground in a pile of leaves for two days. The school janitors left it alone, thinking that the mother would come along to get the little guy, but that never happened. The kitten was filthy, covered in fleas, and scarily bony. His eyes and ears hadn’t even opened up yet, so maybe just a few days old at best. He wouldn’t survive another day without being fed. I couldn’t say no.

This is one of those situations that never happen at the “ideal time”. I have two kids who will be distance learning soon, a husband who is rarely home due to his schedule, a near 100 pound dog, a 9-5 job managing our law office, a household to run…. if there is an ideal time, this is not it.

But he is starving. And he looks like Cheese-It. I can’t say no.

So we fashion a “kitten carrier” out of a kleenax box lined with paper towels, and off I go, back to work at the office. With a kitten. Totally normal.

So, young kittens can’t regulate their own body temperature. Fortunately this is the end of July, but still the little dude needs to be warmed up before I can attempt to feed him anything. So I do the reasonable thing and work with a kitten in my shirt until he warms up and I figure out how I am feeding him. Thanks to the help of a friend, who brought a container of homemade emergency “cat formula” and our local pharmacy who donated a few medicine droppers to my cause, I was able to start feeding the tiny guy. It didn’t go well. He had no clue what was going on, but we persisted.

My knowledge of kitten care is limited. I know they can’t keep themselves warm, I know they need to sleep, and I know they have to use the bathroom. What I did not realize, is that this guy is so young he has to eat every two hours and I have to help him use the bathroom. Oh boy. So I did what I do when I don’t know what I am doing? I consult the internet. I stumbled upon a lady named Hannah Shaw, known on the internet as the kitten lady. I automatically like her when I find her on Youtube. Her videos on neonate kitten care set me on my journey of making sure this little kitten survives through the next couple of days. (Click here to see the kitten lady)

These early days were difficult. I was feeding him with just a medicine dropper every two hours. I purchased some KMR kitten formula per my vet’s suggestion, and ordered some supplies from Amazon. One thing that made a HUGE difference is called a Miracle Nipple. It attaches to the end of any luer lock style syringe and makes bottle feeding a kitten SO much easier. Once we got the Miracle Nipple and luer syringe setup, feeding became much easier… he was able to eat more and I didn’t have to restrain him in the “kitten burrito” to feed him.

The kitten burrito. A Purrito!

So a few days after having the kitten, we sort of decide on a name for him. Corry and I like the name “Gizmo”, Kid #1 likes the name “Mewie”, and Kid #2 likes the name “Little Lion”. So now we have a name… Mewie Gizmo Little Lion, or Gizmo for short. When we got Gizmo, he weighed in at only 99 grams… and today he weighs in at 317 grams. Way to go, Gizmo!

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