The 18-Hour Kitten

Blog author: 
Anne Zabolio

Rasputin, a long-haired black kitten, was dumped last night, Monday, at the site where we feed feral cats in Dripping Springs.

Whoever dumped him there knows we come there every day. He is four to five weeks old and was left in a box that a blender came in, along with a tiny empty nursing bottle.  With a cold front with rain threatening on the horizon, he was awaiting the night, when coyotes and other predators could easily kill a tiny kitten like him.

Fortunately for "Razz," D'Andra, our volunteer who feeds the feral kitties on Monday evenings, hadn't come yet.  When she got there, he, not being the least bit feral, ran up to her, meowing his sad tale. She scooped him up and called me, and I asked her to bring him to the sanctuary, which she did.

I put him in a cage in the laundry room, one closed door away from the bathroom where there is a family of four who were all -- unbeknownst to me -- coming down with a cold (they'll be put on Amoxycillin this evening).  When I discovered their condition this morning, I started calling volunteers to see who could raise this baby away from a possible source of infection.  Melinda, a vet tech, said she could.  I told her I would bring him to her this morning.

In the meantime, I fed him an entire Fancy Feast-sized can of kitten food.  He gobbled that up, ate some Science Diet kitten kibbles, drank a lot of water, and crashed like a ton of bricks.  Poor, hungry, thirsty, tired, frazzled kitten! When I picked him up to check his sex (he's definitely a boy), he purred like a motorboat, smiled, and snuggled into my chest.

This morning, I had a meeting at 9:15 and an appointment at 11 in South Austin.  Melinda lives in North Austin, so I planned on driving from Dripping Springs to South Austin, which is closer, going to my two prior commitments, and then taking Razz to Melinda.  It was warm Monday and I was afraid that it might be too warm for him to be in the car (in a cage with food, water, bed, litter box), so last night I asked Michele, with whom I could rendezvous before my meeting,  if she could drive him to Melinda's while I went to my appointment.  She said she could.  However, Michele was in a traffic jam on the way to the planned kitten transfer.  When she called to tell me this, I told her not to worry, that it wasn't hot or cold and he could stay in the car while I went to my appointment.

My appointment was for Jin Shin Jitysu, a wonderful acupressure technique, by a woman named Lisa.  I have been seeing Lisa for years for Jin Shin Jitysu.  Until last year, she had two dogs and two cats.  Her cats, 22 year old brother and sister, died within a few months of each other, leaving her without feline companionship.  Since she knows what I do, I just told her to let me know when she was ready for a kitty.

When I drove up to Lisa's, she was in her yard, or I would never have called her over to the car.  But she was, and I did, and she oo'ed and ah'ed, asked if he had a home and, when I said no, she surprised the heck out of me by saying, "I'll take him."  Since I see Lisa every week, I can watch him grow, get documentation of his tests, vaccinations and neuter surgery.

When I left after my appointment, Lisa was wearing him in her t-shirt, he was purring like crazy and reaching his tiny front paw up to touch her face.  I wish I had had a camera. 

We had him approximately 18 hours, which is a darn good turn around time!

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