I thought the Author kittens and Cora were scary.

On Friday there was an intake email saying there was a mom and four kittens. Yay! No bottle-feeding. Someone had “found” her and was looking after her until we could foster. I said I’d take her, conditional on at least two of my three being adopted over the weekend. Since the boys were both adopted on Saturday, it was a go. I got the message that Carson had been adopted at about 2pm and by 3pm transportation arrangements for the family had been made.

At about 5pm, the “rescuer” (THAT’S another post) appeared with mom in a tiny carrier and the kittens being carried in a blanket. When we opened the carrier to transfer mom to my carrier, I could see something was very wrong. I thought she’d vomited in the carrier, the rescuer said no, she peed. She was also covered in mud. I brought her upstairs, took her out in the bathroom, left kittens in a carrier in the den — they were asleep and looking good. I returned the carrier to the “rescuer” and hurried back to mom. She was very lethargic and as I tried to wipe some of the mud off, the cloth came away bloody! She was bleeding from her vagina. I immediately called my coordinator and the intake coordinator (Nalini). Many emails later they decided she likely had an infection and we’d get her into a vet in the morning.

I kept as close an eye as I could on her while trying to give her space to relax. Thank GOD there are windows into that room! She seemed worse and worse and was reluctant to nurse the kittens. When she wouldn’t lick formula or tuna juice off her face and wouldn’t close her eyes when I touched above them, I took a photo and sent it to Nalini. (Why, oh, why didn’t I do that earlier?!) The verdict: get her to emergency NOW.

I was nearly two hours at the emergency clinic (though bizarrely it seemed to fly by) and, bless her, Nalini was with me (electronically) the whole time. In fact, she had the big conversation with the vet. Poor thing was septic, had no blood pressure, and he clearly didn’t think she’d make it through the night. She absolutely would have died if she’d stayed with me. They decided to give her as much support care as possible, try to stabilize her, and re-evaluate in the morning. I went home to bottle feed kittens every two hours. (I’d taken them with me, of course, but the clinic wasn’t set up to care for them.)

In the morning I got this message:

Good news is all her vital signs have stabilized. It’s septic shock from Necrotic fetus tissue. Vet said she’s been in this state for about 24 hours likely, so we caught it in time.

[got the vet at one of our clinics] to come in for noon today and he will do emergency surgery.

Send some prayers mama’s way.

They said if she survived the surgery, she’d have a 50/50 chance. She did and last word was that she was hanging in, but still critical. [I just got an update that she was “alert and sitting up”!! She’s still in danger but that’s amazing.]

So I’m bottle feeding again. For now. There is: one black (M), one grey tabby (M?), one grey tabby & white (F?), one calico (F).  Since Foster Dad John has made mistakes sexing kittens, I won’t feel bad if I’m wrong.


Not a great photo, but best I can do right now! The grey one and the black one are bigger but not quite as much bigger as they look here.

Nalini put out a call for someone else to take them — I canNOT bottle feed for a month. But now it turns out that the rescuer has “found” another mom with single kitten. What did I think about taking her and trying to get her to nurse the orphans? ONLY IF SOMEONE ELSE LOOKS AT HER AND SAYS SHE’S HEALTHY. I’m NOT going through that again. So she’s booked into the vet today for a checkup. I’m supposed to pick her up on the way home and, fingers crossed, hope she accepts the four orphans.


About Adventures in Cat Fostering

I am a cat fosterer for Toronto Cat Rescue. I also have two cats of my own, Jonesy, the black and white, and Murphy, the brown tabby, in the photo. Both were adopted from Toronto Cat Rescue.
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11 Responses to Traumatized

  1. Good grief! Thank goodness you were paying enough attention to the mother to get her help! We managed to find a home last week for two kittens who were born in one of our planters, but we haven’t yet been successful at catching the mother who is in heat again. It’s never ending, but totally worth the effort. Good luck with the wee ones. They’re lucky to have you!


    • Heather says:

      Thanks! Yes, never ending is definitely what it is! A humane “snap trap” (you can sometimes rent them) and tuna has worked wonders for me in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We actually bought one of those traps because there are so many feral cats in our neighborhood. We are on the water, so we definitely need neighborhood cats, but we are hoping to catch some of them, get them their shots, and have them sterilized. It’s a tough life for them!


  2. Chandra says:

    So traumatic!! I would have been in a real panic, but it sounds like you handled everything so well. The mom and her wee ones are very lucky they ended up at your place. Hope the situation improves for them all.


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