!!TW for pet death!!
Folks, we can’t win ‘em all.
A couple of days ago, someone walked into my workplace with a little blonde kitten wrapped in a towel. Part of my job is greeting people’s pets and gushing over them, which is literally the one redeeming thing about my job. When I approached, however, the woman held up the kitten and asked for help.
She had captured the kitten’s siblings weeks ago but this one was too shy to catch. She found him collapsed in the yard that day, and was unable to get him to eat or drink. When I held the kitten it was obvious that he was in serious condition: he was limp, cold to the touch, minimally responsive, and his eyes weren’t focusing on anything. He was also profoundly emaciated. He needed immediate intervention, but the woman could not afford to take him to the vet.
I wrote her a note with my name and a request to my vet to do whatever he could, then sent her to my vet to place him on my account. The clinic responded quickly, providing heat, fluids, and glucose, and the kitten rallied enough to be sent home with us. We kept him on heat and made a high-calorie slurry for him to eat. He ate. He pooped. We were encouraged when he was still alive the next morning.
Unfortunately as the day went on, he lost interest in food and had to be syringe fed a caloric supplement. His water intake and urine output were unusually high. He began having trouble thermoregulating again, and by late that night, he had perished.
Kittens his age (10-12wks) normally weigh in the ballpark of 2-3lbs. This kitten, and most of it was fur frankly, weighed in at just barely 14oz, which is about as much as a healthy 5wk old kitten weighs.
This kitten was lucky to have at least died with a few meals instead of hungry and dehydrated like he would have, but it still stings that help came too late.