I have been caring for three "feral" cats, one being a very young kitten. Now I have only known about the mother cat for about a week, and the kitten three days, so none of it's my fault
I have been working on taming the mother cat for about a week. She now comes when I call her (sometimes) and loves affection. She's always purring. The father cat is much more skittish but very caring for the kitten and I feel like there is limited danger he will hurt it.
I took a few vet tech classes and I have worked both at a farm taking care of animals pregnant, during birth, and after care. Including bottle raising animals at home that otherwise wouldn't have made it.
I inspected the kitten and it is surprisingly healthy. It has a good amount of fat, very responsive, good sight, good hearing, and can walk steadily. I think she's about two weeks old. The mother was dehydrated and had diarrhea because my grandma had been feeding them milk (without me knowing) :/ but she has gotten a lot better since I stopped that.
Yesterday I had a bad scare with the kitten. She was no where to be found. I was looking for her in our sheds and found the decaying remains of another kitten with similar coloring that was about the same size. I thought the heat might have accelerated the decaying time and the kitten was dead. But later that day I found the kitten moved into a garage. The other kitten must have died in the shed days before I even knew about the kittens.
I was amazed that I found myself crying over a kitten I had only known for three days, but I was. I was blaming myself for not taking the kitten away and caring for it myself. I work at home and certainly could give it "round the clock" care. The mom is doing a really good job and the kitten seems healthy. But I am really considering taking the kitten in for a few weeks until it's more "out of the danger zone".
Now I am really not sure what's best to do. Should I bottle raise the kitten or do you think it will have better luck with the mom? (who is doing a great job by the way). It's nursing great and I really don't know if it will take a bottle.
I would like to take it to the vet for a check-up but it's like the worst time for me financially since we just had to replace our roof and my boyfriend got his hours cut at work. I will call around and see how much it will cost/if I can afford it (btw, I am planning on getting the cats fixed as soon as the kitten is weened) because the vet will be able to test for parasites and illnesses I cannot see.