Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Another Tiny Rest in Peace
It's been a terrible summer for me as far as foster animals go. This little kitten was the second to pass away, from complications and possibly sepsis associated with coccidia. In a completely separate and unrelated incident, I lost a very young 16 day old kitten earlier this summer. It happens fast. In this case, I was concerned that this litter was not gaining weight. I had suspected a parasite and had fecal tests done and they were medicated with antibiotics for the coccidia. First, a course of Amoxycillin before we knew it was coccidia. They all got better, but only for a few days before loose stools returned. So then we did a course of Albon. Still, this litter wasn't better so I took them in to the Humane Society Clinic for observation and further treatment. They began a course of Septra, but for this one, it was apparently just not enough. I got the news today, and last held this kitten on Friday. It makes me very sad he never got more of a chance. He spent most of his life here and he was loved and happy, but it is a sad end and I am even sorrier the last few days were in a cage at the shelter.
I still have a litter of four at home, trying to fatten them up to 2lbs so they can get neutered or spayed. I have homes for all kittens in both litters lined up. It was a worse year than usual for adoptions. Some got great parents but some, well they are not ideal and I have to hope for the best. It's repulsive how many cats are being dumped off at the shelter lately, and dogs, in part due to the economy. I can't imagine losing my job or my house and then giving up my animals. I'd live on the street with them first, and probably feed them before I fed myself. Some people seem to view pets as less than a lifetime commitment, but pets aren't disposable. You get stuck with less than ideal ones sometimes, but like kids, you suck it up and be a parent anyway.
It's sad watching the animals try to get new homes or try to adapt to their worlds changing. This summer we also took in a foster dog about a year old, and three adult foster cats. There are still two adult cats left. One will have a hard time ever finding a home due to a slightly cloudy eye some people consider "damaged. The other, a little black girl, will probably worm her way into a permanent placement here as I don't have the heart to let her go to anything less than a great home, and so far not one phone call about her in a month plus. She was spared from death row due to lack of space and time at the shelter. So sad.
After all this, I definitely need a break from fostering for awhile. It's a great thing to do and I really believe it makes a huge difference. But in about five years of fostering I never lost any animals before, and with two this summer, that warrants some recuperation and processing time. I don't believe I failed to do anything that needed to be done, both got vet care and the vet assures me neither could have been saved, but it is still hard to watch tiny life go out. I have taken a long, hard turn at the fostering thing and I can only hope others will step in for awhile and someone new can step up for a bit. I may be back but after the existing fosters get placed it will definitely be time for a break.