In mid-November, we began fostering one of our most challenging and rewarding sets of kittens- Sammy, Derek, and Granger. Troubled by health issues from the start, it took us a month to ensure they were healthy enough for adoption! My first glimpse of them was when they were covered in their own stool and in desperate need of a bath. Bathing the first kitten (shown below), revealed the issue we would battle for the next month- the rectum would not close.
At this point, this kitten’s records stated that she was a female named Ginger. An internet search of Ginger’s issue scared me to death, as pretty much every site said that it was a neurological issue that usually resulted in euthanizing the animal. In tears, I brought her to the veterinarian the following day, saying my good-byes in the car and telling her how sorry I was. She just blinked at me solemnly with her huge green eyes.
Luckily, the veterinarian felt that she had a fighting chance if we could cure the loose stool that was plaguing all three of the kittens. Apparently, the poor thing had been in such bad shape for so long that her rectum was ulcerated. Game to give her a fighting chance, Jonathan and I began an Excel spreadsheet for the 5 different medications we administered to them several times a day.
As soon as things were looking up for them and they were overcoming the loose stool, Ginger and her brother Derek developed an upper respiratory infection that soon spread to the third kitten, Sammy. After another week and another round of medicine, they were healthy enough to travel home to Honeoye for Thanksgiving.
At that time, Derek was about half the size of his sister and usually stuck to our sides like velcro. He certainly charmed my mother and sisters with his cuddling while he was home! Finally healthy, he began to gain weight and we marveled in his daily progress.
On the way home from our Thanksgiving trip, a car tire blew out . . . at midnight . . . in the early hours of my birthday . . . in the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania! After a call to AAA to help us with rusty lug nuts, we sneaked the kittens into our hotel room for the evening. In a small town such as Lewisburg, PA, tire shops are not all open on Sundays, so we headed to the local Wal-Mart. Faced with killing time for 3 hours, we moseyed through the local flea market (picking up this handsome bank!) and sat down to a lunch of “chicken and waffles.” (An Eggo topped with boiled chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy!)
Everyone came through it just fine, especially the little tank, Sammy. Sturdy and with a face like a little tomcat, he was a great all-around kitten who loved to play and purr! He was adopted soon after our return home from our Thanksgiving trip- while we were in San Francisco! Now re-named “Jaspurr,” he’s made fast friends with his new kitty companion and is thrilling his new parents with his acrobatics!
He reminded me of Oliver, from Disney’s Oliver & Company!
While I remained in San Francisco on a work trip, Jonathan discovered that “Ginger” was actually a male, so he was re-named “Granger.” He was making steady progress due to another round of meds, but still was not fully healed and we began to worry that he might never fully heal.
By this point, I had created profiles on Petfinder for both Derek and Granger and their photos were bringing in a lot of inquiries. One stood out from the others when I detailed Granger’s health issues and noted that he was making steady progress, but we could not guarantee that he would ever fully heal.
I’m happy to report that after this wonderful family adopted him, he healed completely and now both Derek and Granger have an amazing family! What a happy ending! And what a way to reinforce how fostering saves lives!