Nothing Brightens A Day Quite Like A Kitten!
Courtesy of: Joye
Before you ask, no, we don’t take strays! That sounds like a rather tough rule, but as a Veterinary Hospital we handle requests from overwhelmed folks almost daily, asking us to take in a stray cat (often pregnant or a new mom with many kittens) or rehome a kitty who just isn’t working out any longer. Sadly, we just don’t have the space or resources to help all the animals in need. That means that we have a rule of only seeing stray cats who need medical assistance.
That first paragraph is very important. I will refer back to it several times during this blog.
Because sometimes…rules just get bent. Take Pineapple and Papaya. No, we aren’t specializing in tropical fruits these days. Instead, we have two little visitors hanging out with us, looking for forever homes. This is their story.
Pineapple is a male short-haired orange tabby kitten brought to us a couple of weeks ago. When he arrived, he was about 4 weeks old with a belly full of worms and a bad attitude. Well, a fearful attitude anyway. Pineapple was brought in by a caring lady who found him and felt he had been abandoned and was doing poorly. One look at that little face and we just had to take him in.
Remember…we don’t take strays!
Papaya is a female short-haired calico kitten who arrived just a few days after Pineapple. She’s a little older (about 16 weeks when she arrived) and she was brought in by some folks who were worried she seemed sick or injured. Luckily, her main issues were fleas, worms and ear mites, all of which we treated with Revolution. Papaya is a super groomer and within a couple of days her fur was sparkling. Her personality is sparkling too, and she loves to cuddle and be petted.
So, within three days we had accumulated 2 kittens. (Remember, we don’t take strays!) The SPCA is already overrun, so we decided to hang on to these guys until we could test them for Feline Leukemia and get them vaccinated. Once they both passed their test (with flying colours) we introduced them and they became fast friends instantly.
Now, I mentioned that Pineapple didn’t have the best attitude when he arrived. We don’t think he had had much interaction with people before he arrived with us. We have never been put off by a cranky cat, however, and a little ½ pound ball of fur was no match for us. With a lot of patience and care, soon Pineapple came to see people as an essential source of comfort and (very importantly) food! In fact, as you can see in this photo, he’s sleeping on my arm as I write this very blog!
Remember – we don’t take strays!
One universal fact about Veterinary Hospital staff is that we love kittens! Having kittens in the clinic is a fantastic morale booster. Having a bad day? Go cuddle a kitten. Need a laugh? Watch tiny Pineapple wrestle Papaya to the ground. Even the busiest day is made a little easier when we can pause for moment and watch kittens playing…or eating…or sleeping…or heck even using the litterbox is adorable when kittens do it! Having kittens is great, but there are two major drawbacks.
The first is quality of life for the kittens. While we handle them as much as possible, and these kittens are each lucky enough to have each other, the treatment room of a Veterinary Hospital is really no place for a cat to live. On slow days, the kittens can come out and socialize with us and each other, but on busy days they can spend almost 24 hours confined to a kennel. While we make sure they are fed and have clean litter, they don’t always get the attention and exercise they deserve. They are also missing out on some important bonding time with their new parents in a forever home.
The second drawback to having kittens is the expense. There are several costs associated with having kittens in the clinic, including Feline Leukemia Testing, deworming and flea control, vaccines, food and cat litter. A conservative estimate of costs for each kitten so far is about $250 and it keeps growing daily. This doesn’t even include the time that staff members volunteer on the weekends to care for the kittens when we are closed. Our clinic has established the Lost Souls Fund to help provide for the care of strays like these, but every nickel spent on kitten care takes a little away from other pets that may need help.
So, as you may remember, we don’t take strays. Well, we try really hard not to. Once we have them, however, it becomes our number one priority to find them a new, loving forever home. If you have room in your heart and household for one (or both) of our little kittens, please give us a call at 893-2341 to get more information. We also accept donations to the Lost Souls Fund to provide for their care and that of other needy strays. We regret that we cannot issue tax receipts for donations, but we do appreciate every dollar we receive.
Both Pineapple and Papaya have found wonderful forever homes and settled in perfectly.