MosesProfile

MosesProfile

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This is Moses.

Last Wednesday, a neighborhood stray cat was hit (and killed) by a car behind our house. Unfortunately, this cat was a new mother, and my neighbor had found her kitten in a nearby ditch and taken it to the animal shelter. He also said that a local veterinarian (who also lives in our neighborhood) was on his way to take the mother's body and bury it.

It was a sad scene, made even sadder by the thought of a newborn kitten with no mother. Assuming the situation had reached its conclusion, I left for a few hours.

But the story completely changed when Meg came home and heard a high-pitched squeal in the carport. She immediately called our friends, Bobbi and Mark, who came over to help investigate. After searching throughout the carport, Mark tracked the sound to a corner of the carport with a pile of firewood, a bail of hay, and assorted yard tools. He reached in behind the hay-bail, and found this:




Moses.

4 inches long, 4 ounces in weight, and the noisiest kitten you could imagine. His eyes were still closed, and no matter what we tried, we couldn't calm him down. We could tell he was hungry, so Mark and I left to find some kitten formula and a bottle. We read all sorts of things online about why it's important to keep him warm, and how to feed him to avoid making him sick.

But he wouldn't eat. It seemed as if the bottle was too big to fit in his mouth, and he just couldn't create enough suction to make it work.



So Bobbi and Mark decided they'd take Moses home, and continue to try to feed him throughout the night.

The next morning, Bobbi took him to the animal hospital. When the vet walked in, he looked at her wide-eyed and asked: "WHERE DID YOU GET THIS CAT?" Apparently, HE was the vet who'd buried the mother the day before! Anyway, he gave her some syringes to make feeding easier, and gave her plenty of advice on how to take care of him. One piece we all found particularly interesting is that you have to "stimulate" his "private areas" to make him go to the bathroom!

He also said for us to be "cautiously optimistic" about his chance of survival. Apparently, the next few weeks are critical for his survival. So even though we're trying not to get our hopes up for Little Moses, he is too adorable not to love!

13 comments:

  1. Chive on Mosses

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  2. That's awesome guys. KCCO!

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  3. i got my boy, lil earl, when he was 2 1/2 weeks. my vet said to use goats milk bc it was the closest to natural mama's milk. this is way late info for ya but in case others reat this. you can also cut a larger hole in the bottle to help with suction - or of course, use a syringe.

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    1. Thanks John, it's been a trial-and-error process, but he seems to be getting the hang of feeding now. That's interesting (on the goat's milk), we just got the standard "kitten formula" they sell at Petsmart. We're all newbies at this, but thank you so much for the info!

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  4. This was so interesting to read. I raised two littermates from the time they were a week old and I remember all too well about the bottle feeding, and having to "stimulate" their privates so that they could learn how to "go". At one point during their very early days I had to separate them for a time due to them trying to "nurse" from each other's private areas. The vet said that it looks cute but could actually harm the development of their private areas. I've never written so much about kitten's private areas before. Yikes. :-)

    Anyway, people told me they would "never" survive kittenhood. The male, Teddy, lived to be 15 years old (he passed away in March) and the female, Cookie, is still going strong. She's endured some hardships, like being undersized and also blind since birth, but she's a fighter. I wish all the best to you and Moses. He's a beautiful little kitten with a great spirit. :-)

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    1. Lisa,
      Thank you so much for your comment! I know that vets often have to prepare people for the worst, but we had faith from the beginning. I'm sorry to hear about Teddy, but we all really appreciate the encouragement, and the hope that Moses will live just as long and happy life as your cats have! Thank you again!

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  5. Awww sweet baby! I've rescued 2 cats, both of which I fed with an eye dropper every hour on the hour. They've been such blessings and loving companions. Keep up the great work-- that little nugget loves you more than you could ever imagine! :)

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  6. so wild. I am going through the same thing right now with an abandoned kitten. I think mine is about 4 weeks old though. I never knew about the stimulation part and was just doing some research about it. Seems like this is a common problem. Once they get food they seem to settle down. I felt like I had a newborn child again,, the first night I didn't get any sleep. I love how they try to suckle on your arm. It also tried to suckle my very tolerant dog. Thank fellow cat lover Ryan Adams for tweeting about this story.

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  7. YOu are doing great, but one thing to always remember you never feed a baby cat or dog on its back or side. You let them sit/lay on the stomach in your lap or arms and feed them upright.

    We have been doing this for over a decade and they have a great high chance of survival. Yes a syringe is great for feeding too as your vet said. When they get teeth you can start mixing kitten mix with a little kitten can food to make a mash and slowing feed them the mash. By 5 and 6 weeks old you should be able to get them to eat a mash of kitten milk and kitten iams can food in a bowl. 7-8 weeks they will then work up to dry cat food with just a little water to soften it slightly, not soft, just a little moist....

    Yay so happy for that baby he has you guys. Keep up the great work.

    Friends of Feral Felines 2
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friend-of-Feral-Felines-2/146176992169092?ref=tn_tnmn

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  8. A then colleague's grown son stopped by the office with a kitten about the size of Moses. He drove a truck and picked up hay bales from several farms. When he was pulling them off for delivery at their destination, he found a litter of kittens in one of the hay bales. All of the kittens were dead except one. He knew his mother would help him with this lone survivor, as he couldn't be sure from which farm this particular bale had come from and even if he did, he'd have a hard time finding the mother cat who was most likely feral. Hard truth is, barn cats are a dime a dozen.

    Yep, we did the KMR thing, and took turns in the office taking the kitty home. I kept an Excel spreadsheet where we could note feeding times, weight (weighed with a postage scale), and if the kitty eliminated (we learned to do this, too, when a friend of mine in the UK who did cat rescue sent me a wonderfully helpful email with what best steps we should take). After several days, another colleague who had recently adopted a shelter cat found the name of a woman who agreed to take care of Kitty as a foster mother for six weeks.

    That was June 2004. I'm happy to say we decided Kitty needed to come live with us. JoJo as she is now known, is a 16-pound grey tabby and will be eight years old in a few weeks. Happiest creature i have ever met, and i'm so glad she's part of our family.

    I wish you well with Moses. I love happy endings!

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  9. Three cheers for Moses! Any updates?

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  10. Moses is so lucky he found y'all :) I hope people learn from this story - spay/neuter your pets and don't let them stray, the little ones are always the ones that pay the price. I found my dog when he was only 3 weeks old, bottle-fed him t'il he was weaned, he was with me 11 years until his death. Now I have 5 cats and I love them to bits.

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