Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Sometimes kittens just die.I got a call last night on my cell phone from CK. Calls from the foster coordinator at night are never good. Sure enough, a kitten was failing, and someone needed to meet the foster parent at the shelter. With ND on a few days vacation, it fell to me to handle this. (We are the only ones in the shelter certified to perform euthanasia other than the vets and RVTs.)
So, I piled me and big belly in the car and headed back to work. I arrived quickly and waited for the foster parent to show up. While I waited, I saw Crank, our New Orleans transplant, who was surprised that there was anyone else at the shelter at this time. I must have disturbed her routine.
Then I saw another cat. So I got out of my car and tried to approach the cat to see if it was tame or feral. (Sometimes people "dump" their unwanted cats on our property and we can easily catch them.) This orange tabby was very wary of my presence and wouldn't let me get but within 10 feet of him. (Ah well... note to self: tell shelter staff to put out feral cat trap.)
Then the foster parent arrived. I took a look at the kitten, a skinny little black guy and indeed he was not in good shape. But he didn't quite qualify for euthanasia. I mean, he wasn't doing well, but he didn't appear to be in extreme pain or suffering. He was just lying there, eyes open, breathing fairly normally. So I gave him some fluids in the hopes that this would help his dehyrdration. I explained the foster parent that it might not work. We both stayed there together about 30 minutes trying more fluids.
He didn't look better, but he didn't look worse. I told the foster parent that I would take him home tonight, continue to give fluids and hope for the best. We would call her tomorrow with the status of the kitten. She was in tears and thanked me as she wiped them away.
We headed home, but by the time we arrived, he was already doing worse. I tried more fluids, but he just kept looking worse. He passed away around 10:30pm and then I sadly went to bed. Hopefully he knew that we tried our best. CK will call the foster parent this morning to tell her what we all know...this wasn't her fault and sometimes kittens just die.