Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Trial Period of Motherhood

So the end of my summer came to an abrupt halt about two and a half weeks before I actually had to be back at work.

Let me backtrack. I started a rescue group in the summer of 2013 after cutting ties with the one I had previous been working with (long and very boring story if you weren't involved). I have been volunteering and fostering cats since 2011.

I was working an adoption event when a lady came in with three precious little baby kittens she found in a tire behind her husband's shop. They were barely three weeks old. She begged us to take them. No one else had room and against my better judgement I said yes. I had taken in a three weeker a couple years ago and after doing everything that I could, she got sick and died and I swore I'd never do it again. Hah. Best laid plans. But oh my god. How could I say no?
So I took these babies home and spent the last 14 days of my summer vacation waking up every 3 hours to feed them. It was in the middle of being covered in kitten formula, exhausted from only getting about 1.5-2hrs of sleep at a time since it took almost an hour to feed them that I realized this was a pretty good trial run of motherhood. Did my house turn into a pig sty in about 3 or 4 days? Yep. Who has time to put things where they go? Did I wear the same clothes for at least two days? Oh yeah. Laundry? Shower? Psssh. Did I wish I was sleeping every time I marched to the kitchen to start mixing formula? HELL YES. But when I finally was released from the anger haze that is know as the first 5-10 minutes after you wake up, I was so excited to see these sweet faces. I seriously texted my coordinator when they used the bathroom on their own for the first time because well, they don't do that naturally. You have to make them go by rubbing their little rear ends with a warm rag. Seriously. 

It gave me a great sense of confidence that once that time comes, I will survive on little sleep, a dirty house and being covered in formula, medicine, food and bodily fluids. 

Where are they now?
Unfortunately with baby kittens, they are very fragile away from their moms. Generally speaking they need to get to the 6 week mark before they are out of the woods. Tiger Lily, the sweet baby girl in the middle passed away at 5w2d. It was a freak accident. It was the first day of school and I had one of my friends over to check on them. They had just started eating food on their own the day before so I didn't tell her not to worry about bottle feeding them anymore. When she went to feed Tiger Lily, she bit off the tip of the nipple and swallowed it. I was told to wait and see if it passed in the next couple days and monitor her temp. She was fine until Thursday when she started vomiting. The nipple became stuck in her intestines and they had to operate to try and remove it. She made it through surgery but since she weighed barely a pound they did not have a tube that fit in her throat for surgery and she ended up vomiting and aspirating it into her lungs. She died early the next morning. I was heartbroken. She was so healthy and I had done everything right but this freak accident took her from me. It still stings. 

The two other girls went on to be healthy little holy terrors. Being hand raised makes them a special kind of spoiled and boy did they know it. They were adopted together by my assistant principal at school. Such a happy ending for them :)