Thursday, January 25, 2007
Lil' Orphan Annie
Lil' Orphan Annie, or Annie for short, was orphaned at about a week old. Someone found her and took her to the police station, where a nice officer then took her to a V-E-T who gave him a bottle with some KMR and told him how to feed her. Well, since the officer was on duty and couldn't be feeding a baby kit, he took her to the big box retail pet store where I happened to be purchasing large amounts of food for my TWO cats and a foster family of a mom and 8 kittens. Being very unaware of the ages of babies, I thought that perhaps my nursing queen would accept Annie, so I proudly brought her home.
Well, she was probably about 1/4 the size of the other babies, and they were at the size and age to hiss and spit and go Halloween cat on her, and the mom wanted nothing to do with this teeny baby.
I then found myself suddenly looking on the Internet for instructions on caring for teeny orphans. Geez, I didn't know that I had to stimulate her to go and clean it up, and burp her, and all that. I learned very quickly. Then, her system didn't like the KMR so she got diarrhea BAD, and her little behind became raw. We went to the V-E-T where I used to work, and he gave me some ideas on what to do and checked her stool for parasites.
She didn't get better, and soon it was the weekend, so we went to the emergency clinic. This vet suggested that she couldn't handle the formula and told me to mix up goat's milk, Karo Syrup, and Nutrical for her. So I started feeding her that formula. She finally started thriving on that, and pretty soon over the next couple of weeks discovered that she had teeth and could chew on the nipples as teething rings. She was just starting to adapt to kitten food, but we went through a mess o' rubber nipples in the process. To this day, I can't leave rubber gloves hanging over the sink or she chews the fingers on them.....
It became time to take her to the Adopt-a-Pet at the big box retail store. I took her on a Saturday morning and dropped her off. I then cried for the next 24 hours, so my dear sweet husband went on Sunday morning and carefully picked her up from her cage and brought her back home to me. That was almost 8 years ago now.
I've never taken on anymore bottle babies since then because I know I can't part with them.
BTW, we call Annie a Chuman, Cat-Human, because she isn't quite cat, and isn't quite human. She has confused identities. She wakes my husband in the middle of the night to hold her head in the palm of his hand. She lays in front of my husband's computer so that she can make biscuits on his computer screen while he brushes her and complains to her about all the fur getting in his keyboard. She loves it. She doesn't like any type of stinky goodness, including tuna. She loves one type of dry crunchies, and will occasionally eat our steak, chicken, or turkey.
She also likes to go to the potty in bathroom sinks, so we keep the sinks filled with water to prevent her from doing that, and as drinking water for the rest of the mob. When she uses the litter boxes, you'd think she was digging to China the way she covers and covers and covers. I guess my instructions on litterbox etiquette as a surrogate mom were lacking...
As you can see from this picture, she recovered nicely from her orphaned kitten hood. As a matter of fact, last year she was having a little "huff" of a cough. Very infrequently, but I took her in and they did x-rays. Well, because of her extra layers along her rib cage, they couldn't quite tell if her lungs were inflamed so they overnighted the x-rays to a radiologist who proclaimed that she had pneumonia!!!
Our V-E-T told us to put her on a diet, but that's kinda hard when you've got 9 other mouths to feed.