Monday, July 13, 2009

RIP baby, black kitten - no resources in Miami, bro

I had a pretty crappy week. I had a good time on Tuesday night at Fox's. Not everyone was 18. But the late night ended up completely screwing my sleeping schedule. I was already sleeping too late, but things just kept getting worse.

On Wednesday, I stepped on my back porch to the sound of a kitten crying. Immediately, I froze, I was certain this little cat would take over my night. The tiny thing was alone and sprawled on the walkway. With help from my roommate, we brought the little dude or dudette into the bathroom on a sheet in a box. It was clearly newly born, dirty and a little bloody. I have never seen a kitten that small before. I noticed it was a bit cool to the touch, but I didn't know what to do, so I ran down to Knowles Animal Clinic to get some formula. The lady there warned me no one would take in an abandoned newborn kitten, especially during what she referred to as cat season. 

My roommate said he saw a cat come around on the porch - maybe to find its lost kitten? 

Of course I started reading about what to do with the kitty. I had to keep it warm, so I put warm water bottles in with it and heated uncooked rice in socks. Its eyes weren't open yet, and it had its umbilical cord intact. I just wanted to keep it alive through the night so that I could find someone in the morning to give it proper care. I stayed up all night checking on it. I learned that kittens can't go to the bathroom on their own for the first two weeks of life. That they don't generate their own body heat in that time either and that they're born with worms. 

I stayed up all night waiting for the Humane Society to open, but at 8 am they were no help. I soon realized that the kitten would die, and soon, after checking on it again and again noticing more and more blood on the sheet. I was then certain there was blood coming from its mouth. It wasn't suckling, though I got a drop of formula in its mouth. 

The worst part was that when I called the Broward Humane Society, who wouldn't take it, I asked the woman if I should bring it into the Animal Services shelter where they'd euthanize it, or if I should give it a comfortable death. She said, "don't let it just die." and then gave me some bullshit number for free vets in the area and told me to call vets and see if they'd take it in. The free vet line didn't call me back until after the kitten was dead. No vets I called would take it in for free. The Cat Network did call back - they have little resources, but they actually care. Animal Services said they don't offer medical care, but I could bring it to the shelter. I was sure the kitten was a goner. 

I brought it to my parents' house and my father saw that it was bleeding from near its tail and its mouth. My mom's animal friendly friend held the poor thing until it died. I realized that that cat on our porch wasn't a queen looking for her offspring, I think this little black kitty was meant for its dinner. 

I have to say, I am so disappointed in the lack of resources for feral cats in the area. I mean, I now understand that a newborn kitten that's abandoned needs 24-hour care, but how could no vets take in kittens as charity cases? How does Animal Services not have a 24-hour service nor a vet on-site? I couldn't afford to bring a dying kitten into a vet; I have two maxed out credit cards and $30 in the bank. 

Needless to say, this situation depressed the hell out of me. So, please give money or time to people who take care of animals. Locally would be good, but these guys - Alley Cat Allies - are national. 

In non-related animal news: 
If you were wondering what happened to Bubbles, Michael Jackson's chimp. He's right down the road - read about it here


SuperBee said...

How depressing. You did a mitzvah, though, keeping it company until it died, which is probably all you could have done. Still... ugh. What a sucky experience.

EAT said...

Thanks, I appreciate it. I felt like such a loser. On top of that, my mom tried to tell me that kittens go to heaven.

Matt. said...

i know the feeling, next time shoot me an email i have access to a vets office. my girlfriend is a vet tech and I'm sure we can help in some way. you just gotta tell yourself you did everything you could.

Emily Sue said...

Makes me so sad. I can only imagine what you went through - so horrible. I used to pick up injured birds as a child and it always came to a tragic, sad end. What really makes me MAD are all the jerks who abandon cats (up here in the north woods people just dump their unwanted pets in the wilderness) or think it's ok to let their cats roam free, don't spay/neuter and produce all these poor strays - leaving euthanasia the only way to deal with them. Totally depressing. You did what you could, clearly.