On Saturday, 11 June 2016 I was over near Caesar’s Creek Lake. As I was coming south along North Clarksville Road, just south of the dam, traffic stopped as some cars pulled into the parking lots. The vehicle in front of me, pulling a boat, started to move again, then stopped suddenly. After they started to go again I see a tiny brown thing in the middle of the road. Right in the middle, on the double yellow lines, was a tiny kitten. I stopped, turned on my hazard lights (there was no one behind me, but just in case), and my passenger hopped out and got the kitten. It was a very hot, humid, summer day, so the road was very hot, and this is a busy road. No way it would survive long in the middle of the road. We didn’t see any other kittens, nor mother cat, and the area isn’t one that one would expect to find either.
The kitten appeared to have been dropped from far enough up that when she landed she hit literally face first. Her nose and mouth were bloody, her eyes were runny and there was some sign of infection in them, especially the left one, above the cuts on her mouth and face. Her lower left canine was broken off. We couldn’t tell at first if she had internal injuries, but we had to get her off the road, but it turns out that the only other injury was a problem with her right front foot or leg. She kept weight off it, but it didn’t seem to be broken or cause her undue pain when she was held.
She appeared to be about 5 or 6 weeks old, very tiny.
We took her home, put her in a small box with some towels and she went to sleep. I got out a litter box for her as well, hoping that she knew to use one. I offered her water, but she didn’t appear to know what to do with the bowl, nor did she seem to know what to do with water. I moistened and softened some of the cat kibble my adult cat eats, and she seemed to have no idea what to do with that, either. I dribbled some water into the right side of her mouth, away from the bruises and cuts on the left side, although I did get some water on them to keep them soft. She sort of drank it, but seemed pretty confused. So off we went to a pet store looking for some kitten milk replacer and a bottle with which to try to feed her.
Mission accomplished I mixed up the milk and tried to offer it to her in the bottle. She got a couple of drops on her mouth, which she seemed to really like, but with the cuts on her gums, lips and face, to say nothing of the broken tooth, she just wasn’t able to suckle. So I sort of squeezed the milk out of the bottle on the right side of her mouth. She lapped and drank it, very eagerly. She drank about a tablespoon, cuddled for a bit, then I put her into her box to sleep. Which she did. A few hours later she peeped/meowed so I got her out and took her to the litter box. She use the litter box right away, which thrilled me beyond words.
We fed her with the bottle Sunday, and she took at least a tablespoon each feeding. She started to seem to be feeling better and wanted to pounce and play. She was pretty unstable on her feet, limping and keeping weight off her right front foot, but otherwise seemed to be recovering from her ordeal. At first she was somewhat afraid of us and our hands, but quickly learned that we are gentle and will feed her. I gave her a bit of a sponge bath with a washcloth, but was afraid to give her a real bath in case the injury to her leg was worse than it seemed, and in case she got chilled. I also diluted some hydrogen peroxide and with a cotton swab I cleaned her cuts and her eyes. The right eye pretty quickly cleared up. The left was getting better, but still not clear. It seemed like it would just take another few sessions, though.
Monday I called the vet and explained how I found her and asked what I should do. We already have 2 dogs and a cat, and weren’t interested in having any more pets, but I just couldn’t leave her there to die. Our vet is wonderful. He said to bring her in anyway and if we decided we couldn’t keep her they would work to find her a home. They kept her overnight, treated her for cat lice and worms, xrayed her right front leg and just took fantastic care of her. There were no breaks or fractures in her right front leg. It took a bit of doing, but the problem turned out to be pain in one of her toes, from which she should recover completely. The broken tooth is a baby tooth, which will be replaced by her adult teeth before long, so nothing needs to be done there.
The vet tech who cared for her taught her to eat canned cat food mixed with kitten milk replacer out of a bowl. Being able to eat from a bowl was a high priority if I was going to keep her.
After much thought and discussion with the members of the household I decided to keep her after all. She was literally placed before me. I just have to care for her. So Tuesday afternoon I picked her up from the vet and brought her home.
Here she is after arriving home. Notice the healing cut on her upper lip. The photo shows her eyes looking bluish. They don’t appear that blue in person, they are an indescribably sort of neutral color. No clue what they will change to as she gets her adult coloring.
We are still trying to decide what her name should be. Minion is one option being considered, Mini for short. One of the household members doesn’t like that, so we are hoping that the perfect name makes itself known soon.
Over these past two weeks she has changed a lot. Typical of kittens at this age she is eating very large amounts for her current size, sleeping a lot, playing non-stop whenever she is not sleeping or eating. She loves to play with toys, is trying to explore her world and has learned that her people won’t hurt her. She has also learned that the 2 dogs aren’t that scary, and she is considering trying to play with them. They like to stand or lay behind me when I’m playing with her, so she has gotten used to having them nearby.
This was taken shortly after she arrived home.
And here she is having her first semi-solid meal at home:
Here she is at an estimated 7 weeks:
Hawkeye Cat hasn’t been thrilled to have a tiny interloper in his space, but since she is confined to one area, and kept in a carrier when not being supervised, he seems to be getting more interested in her. They must be kept separate for a month due to the lice. Both have been treated, but due to her tiny size (16 ounces when she went to the vet on 13 June) she has to be re-treated again after 2 weeks, and I believe once more 2 weeks after that. At first they hissed at each other, but now he’ll sometimes come watch briefly when she is playing.
He sleeps by me on the bed. I bring her upstairs in her cat carrier so she is near us, but no risk to him. I’ll take her to her litter box if we wake during the night, but won’t let her play. I play with her when we get up in the morning until she seems to be hungry and ready to eat. Feed her, pet her and then time to rest.