Sunday, October 05, 2008

Letting go...

We had to say goodbye to the little foster kitten yesterday. His urinary tract blocked up again and this time we couldn't get it unblocked. He was going to die horribly without an expensive surgery that probably wouldn't solve the long-term problem. Because of his very young age and his health history, both the shelter vets and an outside vet advised putting him to sleep. It was exactly what I would have told any of our foster parents, but it didn't make it any easier. Urinary tract problems at that age are really rare and usually mean something is wrong. Everything we went through with him only made it harder. I never would have thought a little kitten could get under my skin in such a short amount of time. Losing foster kittens is just part of volunteering--they wouldn't need fostering if their immune systems were developed and they weren't so vulnerable. We named him Leif in honor of the the Viking kittens.

Because we have an overabundance of kittens waiting for fostering to get up to spay and neuter surgery weight and because having a kitten in the house--without adding to our already high number of cats (3)--is so much fun, I was planning on continuing to foster anyways. There were a few litters with moms, a couple groups of 3-4 kittens and a single. I took home the single female brown tabby who seemed to be the healthiest. She has little elf-like ears that look like lynx ears without the tufts and big paws that look polydactyl until you actually count and realize she just has huge toes. The tabby stripes are complete except for a little bit of light brown on her tummy, so she looks very different from our eldest tabby cat, Tora, who has white on his face, paws and tummy. We keep her separate from our other cats and don't let the dog get too close. They already have a very different relationship than he had with the other foster who was fascinated with the dog and whose little butt became an obsession for Gambit. This one is fierce and puffs up when he comes nearby. He fled across the room when she spit at him from four feet away yesterday and Alan said he jumped over the arm of the couch to get away from her later that night. (Is there anything better than seeing a kitten doing the sideways hop, puff up and spit?)

3 comments:

Haddayr said...

Oh guys this is heartbreaking.

Sonya said...

I am so sorry to hear about your kitten. We just lost one of our three year old cats to the same problem. It was his second time and there wasn't anything we could do except put him to sleep. It really is a heartbreaking thing to go through.

Kristin said...

It was hard enough with a young kitten and one we were fostering. What a tough thing to have to face with an adult cat who was a permanent part of the family. My heart goes out to you.