Blame it on the kitten emergency. Not much else would keep me from baking one of my favorite New Year treats. I had the cream cheese dough all ready and waiting in the refrigerator, all set to roll and fill after lunch and then..
There I was in the back yard, hanging Izzy's wash out on the line, when I heard a whistling, almost bird-like sound. I looked up and saw nothing. I looked around and listened again. The sound was coming from the ground and it was more like a high pitched cry of sorts. Something was rustling in the leaves and I peered through the chain link fence to see a tiny gray and white creature mewling away, its fur matted down and wet, its tiny eyes glued shut. It took a moment for it to sink in. Mama cat had given birth and this was one of the litter. Where was Mama anyway? I hadn't seen her for a couple of days and had been wondering if her time had come. I pondered all of this and then became frantic. I had to save that kitten, that was a lovely gray and white with tortoise in between.
Who would I enlist to help? First was Y., friend and cat lover who lives nearby. We spoke and agreed to reconvene later. Then the landlord of the house next door. He said he would let me into the backyard if need be. Then was L., neighbor and cat person. I knew she would spring to action. She arrived at my door within seconds, leaped over the fence and picked up the poor kitty and immediately nestled it in her chest. She warmed it and held it while I ran off to purchase kitten formula and pet nursers.
When I returned, she and a friend of hers arrived to assist in the feeding. So there we were, a La Leche League Leader with no bottle feeding experience whatsoever and two childless women, none of whom could get those rubber nipples to work. It must have taken a half an hour to finally get something into the kitten's mouth. Meanwhile it pooed all over L. (better her than me, right?) and I turned my kitchen upside down looking for sharp objects with which to pierce those annoying nipples. Mission finally accomplished, feeding somewhat done, I placed the tender creature on a pair of old p.j.'s, inside a box and went to pick up Izzy.
I told him I had a surprise for him, a crying surprise at that. He came home to find the little ball of fur nestled in the box . He asked in wonderment, "Do you think that came from Mama cat?" Indeed I did.
We both couldn't keep our eyes off of her. Just then, Y. arrived to check out the scene. We attempted to feed the kitty again but were not very successful. It was then I decided a trip to the vet was in order. Y. ferried us there and ended up coming in.
As soon as they took a look, she was whisked away, with hushed voices murmuring how the kitty was not looking so well. Her vitals were going and they said we had two choices. Leave her there and they would put her to sleep or take her. We opted with the former. The vet assured us that it was quite possible that Mama cat left the unhealthy one purposely and there was not much we could have done.
I felt a loss, having already grown attached to her, imagining nursing her back to health. Izzy didn't quite understand what happened. It did put a damper on our day but now we are both on a quest to find Mama and the rest of the litter.