Fostering the Runner Litter - Part 3
Fostering the Runner Kittens, Part 3
Ivy, the Runners feline foster mother, has been great for the Runners. They are all gaining weight and otherwise benefiting from her nursing and grooming. For the last week I've been encouraging them to lap formula from a saucer, partly to start the process of weaning them onto regular food and partly to lessen Ivy's load, feeding 7 kittens takes a huge toll on the nursing mother's body.
Racer, the tiny kitten, really seemed to be doing well. In the last week she had gained weight at every 2 day weigh in, she was still much smaller than her siblings, natural and foster, but she was starting to catch up. Never good at bottle feeding and facing a lot of competition trying to nurse from Ivy she was the first to learn to lap, doing well even though sometimes both front feet had more formula than her tongue !
So things were improving.
Then Racer had a seizure.
The first one was small, she suddenly started panting, then fell over, her whole body shaking. Thirty seconds later she sat up, looked around, lay down and slept.
The second one, 12 hours later, was much worse. There was a shriek which had every living creature in the house rush to the crate. In seconds Ivy was standing over Roper's writhing body, glaring and growling at the dogs behind me. Dogs she knows and is completely comfortable with. But not in this situation. If they had come closer I have no doubt she would have attacked them to protect “her” kitten. The seizure probably lasted less than a minute but was agonizing to watch. There is nothing to be done but keep them safe and give comfort when it's over.
That doesn't feel like enough.
The vets were contacted for advice but she was so young, only 4.5 weeks, and so small, only 8.4 oz., there wasn't much that could be done except observe.
But then she went 24 hours without a problem, drinking well, starting to wrestle with her siblings, watching the world around her with big, blue kitten eyes. Then she seized again, a small one, 10 minutes later a big one, once again she cried out and once again Ivy flew over and stood guard.
Twenty minutes later we entered the vet's office with Racer in the throes of a third seizure.
She was immediately euthanized.
That was all we could do.
Her weight gain wasn't growth, her liver wasn't functioning properly, fluids were building up in her abdomen.
She was in this world for 30 days.
Fostering is not always easy.
Racer will be mourned, her spirit was strong in spite of her failing body. She was loved.
And the situation is not all sad.
Her sisters Zoom and Sprint have the chance of a good life thanks to all the people who cared about 3 orphan kittens and got them to the shelter.
And thanks to Ivy, the pregnant cat who came into the shelter as a stray, delivered 4 kittens, then, when presented with 3 more babies in need, took them into her care without hesitation, giving all 7 kits warmth, food and love.