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I bottle feed kittens. They don't come to me unless others have already given up on them, their mom's the vet, their owners, whomever - so I don't usually name the little ones. I color them by sex, by color but not by name. This time the kids had different plans, they named this little black kitty Jasmine, then Princess, then Lucy.. a few days later a friend and potential adopter renamed her Shirley. For me though the little black runt girl was still that, the little black runt girl.

mama kicked you out of the litter ant 2 weeks and I forced her to let you back in. She did it again last week and I couldn't make her let you nurse at all - she just ignored you and put you in the corner - I knew what this meant but wanted to try for you anyway - you were fighting so hard. bottles and syringes, meds and baths, vets and needles, fluids and well more than any one little soul should have to go through. Then Friday you looked at me and you were done. it was the first time I saw that look on your face, no more fighting to live just fighting to let it be over, so I made some calls and found somebody who could make it go faster and you got to be done.

I had a 5 week old kitten euthanized last week. she had great vet care for the the 3 1/2 weeks she was with me - she was an fks baby - no telling what it was she just couldn't get past 9 ounces or so then started going backwards. up to that point she had been a scrapper.

I don't know what I'm looking for, empathy guilt relief - something. I know I literally did all that could be done for her, I questioned if I did too much but the sense of responsibility, the weight of being the decision maker can be overwhelming, and I'm tired.

I've learned something about myself in terms of death, even those deaths that are 'kinder' than living, the emotion of one has the power to bring the emotion of them all rolling back up to the surface, and that can be too much to hold.

If I get a wish, you will go play with my son, he never had a kitten of his own and I think the 2 of you would keep good company together -maybe make each other smile.

Thanks for reading.....it has been a hard few days
 

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It's so hard to see that happen. I remember when I brought Waffles to the vet, he was so small, I could put him in the palm of my hand, put my other hand over him, and could conceal him completely.

One of the thing my vet told me, and I honestly felt it was a brutal way to put it, especially to someone who had not fostered little tiny kittens who were only a couple of weeks old before was this. 'Kittens sometimes just die, there's nothing you can do about it, and you would have done nothing wrong, and everything right, and they just aren't meant to live.' I was taken aback at this comment, and it made me almost apprehensive to try and rear this little one on my own, for fear of the what if's.

His vet tech, Mary, who is wonderful, and and of the most compassionate and devoted techs I have ever met, hand rears underage kittens, sometimes 25+ at a time. She described it as 'Fading Kitten Syndrome' (as you mentioned in your post) and likened it to 'Sudden Infant Death Syndrome' in children.

It's a sad thing to watch, but KNOW that you did everything you could. You were her mommy when her own mother wouldn't be. You showed that little one love, and compassion in the end by having her euthanized, rather than watch her suffer anymore. You did the kindest thing you could for her.

Not many people would be willing to foster underage kittens, they would rather leave it to someone else because of the work involved and the risk of fks. You are one of the people who would put your love for animals, compassion, and strength out there to save the lives of these kittens, who may have otherwise come to a sad ending.

It's hard, and it hurts, but you did everything right. Take solace in that.
 

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you are a saint

you mentioned you're not sure if you're looking for empathy, guilt, or relief or something else. likewise, i don't know if i can offer you any of those, but what i WISH i could do is offer you a moment of peace and comfort and give my thanks for everything you do for all those kittens.

you're a truly rare, generous, and unselfish person to take on such responsibility, and i hate to think of you suffering over the decisions you have to make everyday. i wouldn't have the personal strength to do what you do, but i am so grateful that you do.

selfishly, i hope you never give up on giving those kitties a fighting chance at life. and i hope you don't ever beat yourself up over any of the decisions you have to make. you're doing everything you can for them. sometimes, i think it's just that someone on the other side needs them more than we do and insists that they come over early.:angel
 

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I want to send you warm hugs of comfort and thanks. You fought hard for the little girl and gave her the greatest gift when she couldn't fight anymore. You are an angel for all that you do.
 

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I got a lump in my throat and teary when I read your post. Im soooo sorry. This is one reason we have trouble keeping people who are willing to bottle feed babies. It happens more than wed like to see. It rips your heart out when it happens. People cant handle it.

I always comfort myself with - this kitten KNEW it was loved and cared for. My vets have told me when there is something wrong the mother knows it and pushes the baby aside. Survival of the fittest. Part of keeping the gene pool strong. But it seems so brutal to me.

I name all my kittens. I send them on to their next life with prayers. They are not an anonymous animal that came and went. Its a precious, valued life that wont be forgotten or unacknowledged.

Nora you are an amazing person with your devotion to these bottle babies. Your a huge asset to the rescue community and you make a tremendous contribution to the well being of cats. My hat is off to you for all you do. Cyber hugs. These little babies will come see you when you arrive at the rainbow bridge! Please accept my condolences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you to everyone. I don't post too much on the tears but this one really got to me and all of your words have helped. bits and pieces put together make a bit of a blanket of comfort so to speak and I am grateful.

I should tell you all I am no saint - my sons would be the first to let you know this to be true, and there are many people out there in the world doing things I cannot do, this is just the little piece I feel I can tackle, most days anyway.

This baby girl really sort of sent me into a tailspin and I am more grateful for the support than I know how to express in words. thank you.
 

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You are willing to do a labor of love that most rescue people run the other way, for the reasons you expressed. It puts a person into a tailspin when a little one dies. Vets cant give the reasons why they die, which make your efforts even more frustrating and heart breaking. Thank you for what you are willing to do. None of us are saints but where it comes to helping animals esp the jobs which have the potential to rip you up inside, then that makes you a saint. Atleast in my world it does. Nora thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping these helpless babies.
 

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Nora, I'm so sorry you were not able to help the little kitten. But you did what you could for her. Sometimes life breaks your heart and we just don't know what else we could have done. Thank you for helping her and all the babies. Hugs to you.
Lucy
 

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only real saints are humble enough to say they aren't a saint

proof that you are one. : ) i'm convinced.

and like mitts & tess said, those little ones will all be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge. peace.
 

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Wow, this post gave me tears...I'm very sorry you had to do this, but I think you're quite an amazing person for taking in these babies. Especially for trying everything you could to help this little soul, without you this baby probably would have never knew what love is.
 

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Awww, poor little thing. Wonder what the deal was?

I hate not getting to know sometimes. as in why was this her fate at such a young age? I suppose it oculd have been worse. suffering slowly. but it sucks bad enough with an older pet let alone a baby one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Awww, poor little thing. Wonder what the deal was?

I hate not getting to know sometimes. as in why was this her fate at such a young age? I suppose it oculd have been worse. suffering slowly. but it sucks bad enough with an older pet let alone a baby one.

MMM, it is hard, and it does hurt, but it is not the same as with my own pets. these are my forster babies, i had a few dozen last year, It isn't that I dont get attached or dont have love for them because i do but they dont take up the same spaces in my heart as my own kitties do. My heart kitty is a dilute calico about 2 years old goes by the name pickles - if I lost her i would come unglued. truly unglued.

It breaks my heart to lose the babies but it doesn't break me - mostly, and better that they should pass while they are with me than after they go to a forever family and become deeply loved by another.....these are the things i tell myself anyway.......

thank you all again for the the kind words and support
 
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