The life of a community cat can be tough, especially if a colony starts sharing a virus around. It spreads quickly, and depending on the overall health of the cats, some will weather it, and others won’t. Kittens get hit hard by a shared virus or bacteria, and the colony we’re working on now, has upper respiratory and eye problems in spades.
We grabbed one of the kittens a couple weeks ago. He wasn’t going to make it otherwise. Named Benny by his foster mom, he is doing great. Tons of roundworms were making their home inside him, and we’ve sent them packing. He’s had antibiotics and eye drops, and he’s recovering well.
We started trapping the rest of the colony today, and we nabbed Benny’s playmate, another small kitten, who doesn’t look very well either. We don’t yet know if the kitten is a boy or girl, but the foster mom is hoping for a girl she can call June, so I’ll go with that for now. Benny and June are both too small for their surgeries right now, so we will be reuniting them to hang out in a shared dog crate until they are large enough.
June is pretty scared right now, but she can be handled, and I’m hopeful that she’ll make someone a wonderful companion down the road. She let me de-worm her today, and give her antibiotics and eye drops, along with a hot compress to the eyes, and I think she’ll start feeling and looking better soon. At the moment, she is snuffling endlessly, and because she can’t smell much, she’s not eating either. After watching her not eat for 6-7 hours I put some canned food on my hand, and she finally ate a couple teaspoons that way. A few more hand feedings, and she started eating from her dish – thankfully!!
This evening, after being here about 9 hours or so, she even jumped up on the shelf in her dog crate, so I know she’s feeling better and less stressed. That’s a good thing, ’cause it looks like she’ll need her ears cleaned tomorrow, as well as her meds. But the best part is that after her day and evening with me here, she is now leaning into my hand to be pet. She’s going to make someone a wonderful companion.
She’s a pretty little one, but then I’ve always been partial to the solid grey cats. She’ll be reunited with Benny later this week when she’s had a chance to recover a bit and won’t reinfect him with their shared virus.
Four kittens out of the eight captured so far, and we hope that we can foster all of them and adopt them out and they won’t have to go back outside. That’s not always an option in TNR programs, and it isn’t our focus either. But a group as young as this deserves a chance. Working with our rescue group partners, paws crossed that they all can be socialized and given to loving furever homes.