Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We call her Kick Ass

Or, the title of this was going to be, "I was a teenage mom, too".

In public we call her "Kisses" but behind closed doors, her name is "Kick Ass".


Because she beat the odds and helped her kittens beat the odds.

I was leaving the Help Desk one disgustingly hot afternoon. Now that I think about it, it was July 5. The day after the 4th of July is supposed to be the busiest intake day of the year at the animal shelter.

Like I said, I was leaving. I had clocked out. I had gathered my stuff and I was heading out the back door to my car.

That's when I saw her.

At first I just looked out the window and said, "Oh crap!" I thought I had said it to myself but I was told later by Dustin that he had heard me say it and he knew I was going home with something.

I walked outside and took a closer look.

It was this teeny tiny cat with even tinier kittens. The kittens' eyes were closed and they were nursing. Even though mom cat was nursing, she was still trying her best to get as close to the hand that was reaching in to pet her.

That's what caught my attention. All day I had seen scared cats in boxes and traps and heard them crying and then I walk out and see this.  The cage door was completely open, a hand was petting this mom cat while she was nursing her 4 kittens and mom cat was pressing her head against the hand that was petting her. I had never seen anything like it before.

I asked, "What do we have here?" I was pretending to not really be that interested.

Wet eyes looked up at me and one of the women said, "We were helping the landlord clean out the house next to us and we found them. The people left at least 4 days ago."

4 days?! 4 days!!?? This poor cat hadn't eaten or had any water for 3-4 days and had given birth to these beautiful kittens.

One kitten was kind of limp and they were worried about her. I discovered that I was worried, too and followed them inside when their names were called.

I was back at the intake desk but this time I was a customer and not a volunteer. I knew those kittens could not stay at PACC. They would for sure get sick and die. It was late in the afternoon and finding a foster at this time would be difficult.

I asked the women if they could keep them for a couple days while I looked for a foster.

The woman just shook her head, "No". She was still crying. She was so worried about them. By now, Jessica had given the limp kitten some watered down Nutri-Cal and the kitten was starting to come around.

I weighed my options:

Do I want to stay married? Or do I want to live with my parents?

Mom cat was still getting petted while nursing. She was purring!!

Do I want to stay married? Or do I want to live with my parents?

WHAT? Mom cat only weighs 5.88 pounds? She can't be more than 9 months old herself? I was a young mom, too. I can't turn her away.

Do I want to stay married? Or do I want to live with my parents?

I made the executive decision that I was taking these cats. I had already forewarned my husband that there may be some day when I would have to take some kittens home to bottle feed. Maybe he wouldn't notice that there was a mom cat not much bigger than the kittens.

I texted my husband.

No answer.

I called my husband and left a message.

I called the home phone and left a message.

Well, I tried calling, right? What choice did I have?

Surely, he wouldn't want these kittens and mom cat to die, right?

"I'll take them home and foster them", I said. There was fear in my voice but that was quickly dismissed with cheers from the women that had brought them in. They gave me a hug but they didn't want to know what may happen to her and the kittens. They were terrified something bad would happen.

I gave them my name and phone number anyway and told them if they changed their mind they could call me or look me up on Facebook.

The women left.

Mom cat went back to the vet where she was re-hydrated.

I was alone with the kittens. I closely examined what I had gotten myself into and noticed that they still had umbilical cords attached. These kittens had been born maybe the day before. On July 4th.

I called my mom to see what she thought about it and if she had room for me should things not work out. All she said was, "I'm glad I'm not you! You're crazy!" and stuff like that.

I sighed and called my husband back. This time he answered and he was NOT happy. I couldn't get very many words out because he kept hanging up on me.

Mom cat came back from the vet and I was handed some cat food and some Kitten Milk Replacement.

We walked out to my car and I had an eerie sense of being totally alone. The gravel crunched under my feet and I had a flashback to when I was 17 and pregnant. I remember walking out of my house with as many prized possessions that I could carry. I felt alone, scared and a little excited for a new beginning.

I was having the same feelings now. It was just me and the cats. I felt like this mom had not a soul in the world that could help her except for me. The responsibility weighed on my shoulders and in my hands. The cats were heavy.

I opened the car door and tried very carefully not to knock the cats around.

I got in, put on my seat belt and asked the cats if they were ready to go.

Mom cat looked at me, meowed and rubbed her head against the cage.

Later when I pulled up into the driveway, I had to open the front door by myself. I got the mom cat and kittens set up in my daughter's room. She was the only one excited to see cats!

The next day my husband came in to see the cats and before long he was petting mom cat and could totally see why I had no choice but to bring her home.

I think I was forgiven.

She is such a good mom. The second her kittens cry, she stops whatever she is doing, drops herself to the ground belly up and lets those babies nurse.

I sometimes hand feed her while she's nursing. I worry about her not eating enough and after all, I had to do that for my daughter when she gave birth to my grandson. I hand fed her burritos while she nursed a newborn baby boy. True story.

It's been just a little over 2 weeks now and Kick Ass has settled in nicely. She is still as sweet as pie and loves to be petted and have her tummy rubbed. I am still supplementing the kittens with KMR and a little bit of Nutri-Cal.

I'm not positive, but I think Kick Ass may have a permanent home here. :)


Ohhh Snap said...

She is totally Kick Ass : ). I'm so glad they found their way to you, and that you didn't have to move.

I was 20 years older than you (and alone) and pregnant and it was still confusing lol. I didn't know I could be that tired and still live. I was a fan of any food that could be eaten with one hand lol.

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Kick Ass is a good name. And that's why I can't work where you do.... I have 5 already and I would have been thinking the same thing.

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