Updated: Sep 30, 2021
On a Sunday afternoon we were having a lovely lunch as a family. Suddenly I saw one of the shelter I volunteer for sent a kitten plea. My little girls scrolled through the pictures and picked 3 super cute calico bottle babies. We drove quickly to shelter to pick them up. While we were waiting for our new kitten babies, my husband saw a kitten laying on his side and looking very sad. We all looked at him through the glass window. You could thoroughly see the sadness in his eyes. I waited for the foster coordinator to ask her if we could take him home as he looks so sad. She looked at us with a pause for a second then she quietly said “That kitty has a spine injury and we do not know his life expectancy. If he can make it till Thursday, shelter veterinarian will see him for x-rays and deciding on treatment.” I jumped in with a huge desire and love in my heart. “Can I take him home? I can take care of him. I will do anything to make sure he feels better. I will make sure he will make it to Thursday appointment”. I knew our foster coordinator had a huge heart. She looked at the kitten and looked at us and said “Okay, I will prepare him”.
We went home. Put his cold body on a heating pad. We gave him a little bit water and baby chicken food every hour all night. Last few hours I fell asleep next to him. When I woke up he was walking. He thanked me with a very little meow. I am in love. He loved those cat treat tubes. I knew eating is a great sign.
Next days he was holding his head up, walking to his food bowl even using his litter box. I was over the moon. I wrote a message to our shelter indicating he is doing great and I got an appointment at 4PM on Thursday. They thanked me. He was in pain meds and his spasms were getting less. He had really bad shaped spine and his neck was stiff always looking at one side. His ears and front paws had freeze bites. In Texas???? Middle of summer??? Nobody ever told me what happened to him. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking somebody tortured 4 weeks old kitten. I hope not… I do not want to think about it…
It was Thursday. I took him in my fanciest cat carrier with nice soft blankets. Several shelter vet techs came to see him. They were all so happy to see him doing so much better. They took him in. They came back with some meds for his never ending diarrhea and some lotion for his ears and paws. They told me that veterinarian is too busy. She will leave at 5pm so no x-rays. I asked them what will happen to him then.
You know there is a moment in life you feel that you need to bite your tongue. Because if you say something it will come across not so well. I was doing that. I waited all night for this kitten. I made sure he can make to his appointment and we can start the treatment plan. Wake up from your dreamland!!!
So this what was explained to me: if this kitten grows up as a miracle without dying very soon, then shelter would put him for adoption with a medical waiver. This means whoever adopts him, they would have to pay for his medical expenses and never ask for compensation from the shelter.
I took home my little kitten back. I loved him so much. He only ate the best food, always slept on the softest blanket and shared couch time with us every night to watch movies with us. We knew with no treatment he was not going to live long. We wanted him to live the best life. He started losing control of his bowls several times then started throwing up none stop from pain. Shelter asked me to bring him over night for some meds and then veterinarian can see him in the morning.
Unfortunately I received an email in the morning indicating that he was put down due to being in too much pain. I do not judge the shelter in this situation they did best they could in given situation. What bothered me was not being able to do more for him. He was not mine to make decisions for him. He was not mine to take him to my veterinarian and start the treatment plan when he turned around and started improving. I was kept being told that he wont live and I accepted it. When he passed away I could not take new kittens for fostering, I cried for weeks. I could not clean up his crate or touch his carrier I left in my car so I could go back and pick him up. It broke my heart in pieces. I had lost kittens before and it is never easy. But when I think back on this specific kitten, I thought about all that happened and I kept thinking there could have been more I could have done.
I have been thinking about opening my own rescue. But when little Stevie died, I was no longer just thinking. We started the very next day. I put my grief to good work. It help me get through my mourning. Now I am looking back and I keep promising him that I will do everything in my power to try everything possible to make sure any animal in pain, injured or too little to live own their own keep them alive with a happy and comfortable life. This will honor our little Stevie we loved so much. Love does not disappear when a love one dies for sure. We continue to loving him in our hearts and every animal we will rescue will experience that love and compassion we still have for our Stevie.