Scully's story: a rescue story, told in parts - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2004, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Scully's story: a rescue story, told in parts

Chapter 1: "Give me your tired, your poor, your weary..."

Somewhere, perhaps emblazoned on my forehead, there is the word "Softy", written in a language only animals can see and understand. As in "She's a softy, give her the big eyes, and maybe she'll take you home...", or, "There's a softy, act helpless now." It must be there, or else I wouldn't attract animals like bugs to a light.

I had pulled into the video store parking lot, and was getting out of my car when I heard a strange noise. Ignoring it, I ducked inside the post office to drop off an envelope. As I stepped back out from the cool dark building into the the sun's heavy and heated glare, I heard the noise again. Like a bird, only more persistant. I shaded my eyes to see across the lot, near a clump of trees and shrubbery, and lo and behold - there's a cat, sitting. And yowling.

"Well", I said out loud, yet to myself, "You can't leave it there." So I strode across the pavement toward the cat, who only increased the volume of her howls. As I got nearer to it, the feline responded by waltzing over and weaving itself in between my legs, tail wrapping around my calf. It was pretty, a small orange tabby, with yellow eyes too large for it's face. Instinctivly, I reached down to scratch it's head, hoping it wouldn't suddenly turn rabid and maul my hand. Getting a series of shots is not my idea of summer fun...

The cat seemed to appreciate my show of affection, so I continued rubbing along it's back. I stopped short as I felt each and every vertebrae in the spine. I could have counted the ribs if I wanted to. I did a double take. Suddenly the cat didn't look as well fed as I had imagined. There could only be one reason for the cat being so emaciated yet so...fillled-looking. Great. You've found yourself a pregnant cat. A starving pregnant cat. To top it off, her gums were very pale: anemia. Triple whammy.

People stepping out of their cars and into the afternoon sun, gave me a passing glance, but little more. I sighed, gathered my thoughts, and scooped the cat into my arms. Yes, this little girl was definately pregnant, and pretty far along. Knowing I'd never sleep with myself if I left her there, I resigned myself to the situation, and put her in the car. I quickly stepped into the video store to pick up the movie, and ask if anyone knew about the cat (they didn't), and climbed back into the car with my new passenger.

Once we had pulled out of the parking lot, I took a deep breath and called home.

"Hello?"

"Hey, mom.....I need a favor. You know the rabbits' crate?"

" *pause* Uh-huh"

"Well, can you set that up for me..."

" *another, longer pause* What are you bringing home?"

My mom was actually pretty receptive to the idea, once I explained the situation. As I drove home with the cat, lounging in my back window, I pondered how exactly I had gotten myself into this. You're a softy, and you know it.

Mom was waiting in the driveway with the carrier when I pulled in. The cat had taken up a spot on my dashboard (you should have seen the looks I was getting from the other drivers) and I knew my mom had melted the instant she saw her. We scooped her in the carrier and mom insisted on carrying her inside. Apparently, right after I had called, and mom had shared the news with the family, my dad had turned right around and walked out to his workshop. "I don't want to see it," he said, "If I do, I'm going to want to keep it."

As the cat sat there in the carrier, showered in praise and attention from my brother and sister, I called the local rescue. I gave the woman on the line my situation, and she asked if we could keep her for a few days. "Sure." I'd need to take her to the vet the next morning, get her all checked over and vaccinated, and she'd let me know if a foster home was made available. For the time being, it seems, I had assumed responsibility for yet another pet.

The next issue at hand was where she would stay. We already have a cat, and Beeper does not do well with roomates. Logical choice? Emily's room. I transferred the rabbits from the large dog crate to a large excercise pen, a move they were not entirely happy with, but I didn't give them much of a choice. The dog crate was set up next to the pen, with newspapers, a litterbox, and some bedding. One thing you have to understand about our house, and that is in our years of animal experience, we have amassed enough supplies to care for any four-legged thing that straggles through our door. A sheet was hung between the rabbits' pen and the cat's new cage, to prevent any possible hostilities. The dog was moved to the reading room, to also reduce stress on the new occupant.

Once settled in (she seemed to think her litterbox was a great place to hide and sleep) I gave the cat a small can of cat food. Within a minute of putting it down, the platter was clean, scraped of every morsel. She finished it off and begged for more. Not wanting to make her ill, I waited a few hours before giving her a portion of dry food. This dissapeared just as fast. It broke my heart.

After talking it over with the family, we have all agreed to provide a foster home for mom kitty and any possible kittens. My dad thinks that since she's a red head, we should call her "Lucy". I'm just sticking with "Mama Kitty" for now.

At the moment, she is completely unaware of the situation that has revolved around her. She is settled on stalking about my room, growling at the bunnies, and investigating every corner for possible signs of food. She is sweet, super affecionate, and rather vocal. My dad thinks we're keeping her. I think...we'll see.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2004, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Chapter Two: Once upon a time...

There was a Mama Kitty, who was soon to give birth to litter of baby kitties, but there was no place for them to stay. So, tired and hungry, she set out to find them a home. She sat and cried and cried, but no one seemed to notice or care. Then a young woman came along, with the word Softy on her forehead, and the Mama Kitty knew she had found a home for her and her babies.

*yawn*

It's nearly 12 o'clock. I fell asleep at 1:30 this morning, awake off and on until 7. I'm not sure why I couldn't sleep, but I think part of it was the adrenaline rush from yesterday's events. Call me crazy (I was kidding, shut up), but I do find a certain aspect of this whole rescue thing exciting. Sure, it's exhausting and frustrating and heartbreaking, and all of that. But I've given a home to a starving cat that would have had her kittens in a back lot somewhere, and probably would have died had I not come along at just the right time. That's pretty cool...

Anyway, on to the day's events.

Unlike myself, Mama Kitty slept peacefully all night. Rolling out of bed, and stifling a groan, I slipped out of my room to walk the dog. Mama must have heard us, because she started yowling. Alright, alright, alright...hold on. Quickly giving her a can of food (which was promptly inhaled), I walked the dog, fed the dog, fed the bunnies, refilled their water bottle, changed the hamster's water, fed the hamster, changed the cat's water, checked her litterbox, heard the dog clanging his bowl and gave him more water, and just as soon as I put that down I heard a crash and mad scrambling in my room, and raced in to find Peanut looking rather sheepish and the litterbox knocked over. The cat growled from her cage next door. I sighed....

By now it was nearly 9. I called the vet's office to set up an appointment for the afternoon. It was after I hung up the phone that I realized I had been awake for two hours, and had yet to brush my hair, let alone eat breakfast or get dressed.

--- skip past several hours in which I kill time in a vacation-like manner ---

Around 2 o'clock, we packed the cat, along with the rest of the family, into the van. The drive to the vets was uneventful...until she decided to use the bathroom. Then it got smelly. And loud, as Mama felt the need to start whining about her current situation. Great.

The clinic was in a house, one of those little practices where the veterinarian lives upstairs and there are kids running around the office.The vet tech took Mama and cleaned her cage, then brought her in to an exam room. The vet (who was Canadian - he said "about" funny), confirmed my suspicions. Not only was she pregnant, she was very pregnant. As in, there-will-be-kittens-within-a-week pregnant.

They did a blood test for feline leukemia, which she was negative for, and took her temperature. And I thought her eyes couldn't get any wider.... The vet also pointed out something interesting: she had fleas. She was treated, and we were ordered to quarantine the rabbits, and wash all bedding she came into contact with. Fleas can kill kittens, within a day of birth, so we had to be super careful.

We got some general tips on caring for a pregant kitty and newborn kittens, and were given some special high-calorie food. She had already eaten half a can, about 2,000 calories worth, and was acting much more content. A quick stop on the way back home to procure some necessary supplies: bedding (lots of towels), kitten milk replacer and bottles, kitten food, and some more litter. Around the house we had managed to find some cotton balls, iodine, dental floss, and a small suction-thingy (for clearing airways). I felt prepared yet...not at all ready. Kittens - yikes.

Once home, we yet again rearranged the animals living situations. The rabbits were moved back into the crate and, with that, were moved into my sister's room. The hamster would stay put in my room, but his cage was covered in cloth, just to be safe. My bedroom was turned into cat central. The floor of my closet was cleared to make room for nest bedding. In one corner, I put a litterbox, in another, all necessary cat supplies. Mama Kitty, anxious to be out of the carrier after such a long time, quickly gave the room a once over, wolfed down another serving of food, and set about lounging on the windowsill.

For the past several hours, she's been especially whiny and restless. I can feel the kittens moving inside her, and imagine it can't be too comfortable. Now it is just a waiting game. In the meantime, Mama Kitty has been officially renamed: Scully. A petite, vocal, red-head. Yeah, I think it works...
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2004, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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I'll post more, but with the kittens here, things have been busy, so I haven't gotten around to it.

~M
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2004, 03:52 PM
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I am looking forward to the rest of the story!
You and your family are wonderful to take Scully in (love the name, you must be an X Files fan!).
The story is very well written, you're a good author.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori
I am looking forward to the rest of the story!
You and your family are wonderful to take Scully in (love the name, you must be an X Files fan!).
The story is very well written, you're a good author.

I have to most definantiley agree!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2004, 10:05 PM
 
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I have just finished reading your wonderful story - thank goodness that a softie, kind, good samaritan like you came accross this little innocent kitty that needed help desperately. Thank you for sharing and for your beautiful act of kindness.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-14-2004, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Chapter 3: Kittens in my Closet

It seemed that Scully was determined to make us wait for the kittens. Thursday dragged into Friday dragged into the weekend, and on into Tuesday night. It was now a week, to the day, that I found her, and one day short of the vet's delivery deadline. And no sign of kittens. She was still eating voraciously, getting into trouble around the house, and...well...her nipples didn't have milk yet. Yes, I had to check. Every day in fact. But if you think that's bad, most people will see if a cats going into labor by checking their temperature. Yeah......

So I went to bed Tuesday night, frustrated at the loss of sleep I'd been having, thinking Scully was going to drop kittens at any time. A nice, long, dreamless sleep...and I awaken to mewing. Now, Scully has a high-pitched little voice. And it wouldn't be the first time she had woken me up. But this was different: the mews were tinier, and there was more than one.

Oh boy.

I quickly rolled out of bed, and crawled the six feet to my closet. Scully was half sitting, half laying, with her back to me. So I reached over her, towards the source of the sound, and felt this warm, wet, squirmy...thing.

Oh boy.

I went out into the living room, where my mom was sitting with her coffee, and simply said, "You're not going to believe this." Then I went down to the kids rooms, and quickly waking them up, we all went back to my room.

Scully had moved, giving us a clearer view of her babies. She had two, one of which was laying on the floor and mewing, while the other one was still attached to the placenta and mewing at slightly less volume.

We scooped up #1, still wet, and wrapped him in a towel, not wanting him to get chilled on the floor (Scully had dug the bedding away). We marvelled at how tiny he was, so perfectly formed, right down to the little toes. We moved the bedding back, and Scully settled in to clean #2. A few minutes later, we returned #1, and they both started nursing.

It was then I glanced at the clock. 6:47. Things proceeded rather uneventfully for the next 20 minutes or so. #1 and #2 continued to nurse, despite Scully moving around quite often. We watched them, amazed at how precious they were, and prayed everything went just as well with the next two kittens.

We could see when Scully started having contractions with #3. She gave just a few pushes, and a little black blob emerged. A wiggling little black blob.

From the beginning, #3 was feisty. It moved and squirmed until she got the birth sac off, and then proceeded to crawl straight for a nipple, despite the fact that it was still attached via the umbilical chord. As soon as she bit the chord off, #3 crawled right up over her leg and proceeded to nurse. All this at only a few minutes old.

We were not fortunate enough, about 45 mintues later, to witness the birth of #4, as Scully kept our view pretty well blocked. But by 9 o'clock, nearly 3 hours since I had woken up, we had four little kitties, all being groomed and nuzzled, and were nursing on Mom (who was completely and utterly exhausted.)

These past few days have been so surreal......I have kittens!

#1 is a boy, whose yellow coat has lightened into white. He is the most mellow of the group, hardly ever makes a peep, and prefers sleeping to wrestling with his siblings.

#2 is a grey tabby girl, with beautiful facial markings. While her body is grey, her legs and tail are striped, so it will be interesting to see what her adult coat will look like. She is relatively mellow, but will pick a fight with her younger brother (#4) if she has to.

#3, who we thought was black, had lightened into a beautiful tortoiseshell color. She has mellowed out a bit, from her original feisty-ness, and is now as laidback as big brother (#1).

#4. What can I say about #4? He has emerged as the definate dominant kitten in the group. He will attack and shove the kittens off of mom, yet he also cries and whine when they do it to him. He is very vocal, making quite a fuss when mom moves or gets up, and mewing if anyone disturbs him. He reminded my mom of the thumb-sucking royal from the cartoon Robin Hood: Prince John. And so he has been named. Prince John, probably due to his nipple-stealing, has grown the most of the four, and is now 50% larger than he was three days ago.

It's hard to believe the kittens are only three days old. It feels like they've been here forever. I told my friends I've found a new addiction: kitten watching. I could do it for hours. These next couple months are going to be so cool...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 11:10 PM
 
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What a wonderful story

I read Scully's story and of course I cried. She and her babies are so lucky to have you. There's nothing like a mom and babies to just steal your heart. I rescued a mom and babies from the shelter a few months ago as they were scheduld to be euthanized because mom wasn't very friendly to the shelter staff. What a reason to die!! I thought to myself, not today, and took them home. I've never done that before because I usually find plenty enough on the streets to bring home. However, something compelled me that day to rescue that lot and I did. God bless you for your big heart.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2004, 09:58 AM
 
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Awww! Talk about a wonderful, happy ending to a heart breaking beginning. Nice story. You were very kind to take in the poor kitty. I hope everything goes well for you, Scully and her kittens.
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