After spending about three weeks getting fattened up on our strawberry and pepper plants (some puppy food too), the little pup we had first brought home in April (see: New Foster Puppy) was ready to go up for adoption. Her ears had, bit by bit, become upright and she had become a bundle of energy. No longer unsteady on her feet, she had a great time running around with the big dogs. It’s really amazing what a huge difference a few weeks can make it the development of a young animal.
When we took her back to the Humane Society, we picked up a litter of 5 week old kittens. These little guys were right on the verge of becoming feral; hissing, growling and fleeing when approached. They had been taken from an agricultural area and smelled of manure. I can only guess the mother was a barn cat.
The kittens had a very severe Upper Respiratory Infection, causing their eyes and noses to be nearly sealed shut with gunk, constant sneezing and fatigue. On top of that, they were skin and bones, as many of the stray animals are. They had to be given oral medicine and eye drops, and that is not an easy thing to do with animals that are not used to people! Several days after the first course of antibiotics was finished, they became sick again and had to undergo another round. This occurred during the high point of the cat and kitten season, and medications were in short supply. It would have been ideal to do a longer course, or use another antibiotic, but we had to make do with the same treatment a second time. Thankfully all the kittens responded and seemed to bounce back.
After about four weeks, the kittens had become social enough and gained enough weight to go up for adoption. They had finished their meds and seemed okay. Several of the once fearful kittens had become very friendly, and all of them liked to pile up at my feet while I was working on the computer. Again, it is amazing how much can be changed in a few weeks!
**Two of the kittens were adopted by someone we know, and unfortunately, one has become sick again and must undergo yet another round of antibiotics. We ‘re not sure if it is a recurrence of the same illness, or if he picked up something new while at the shelter for his neuter and adoption. We are really hoping that this will clear up for him, and that all of the other kittens are staying healthy in their new homes. One of the hardest things about fostering for me is not knowing the outcome of the animals after they leave, in this case, knowing that the two are in good hands is wonderful!
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