It has been a long, memorable and stressful weekend for me.
DAY 1 - Thursday, 17th August 2006
It all started on Thursday. Thursday was a normal day for me, went to work, rushed to gym for my 2 classes, went to mom’s place for dinner and then reached home at about 1030pm. I saw a black patch on the floor and I thought, ‘Oh No! The cats have made a mess again!”
I walked closer and got a shock of my life when I discovered that it is A NEW BORN KITTEN! About 1 meter away, laid Pepper. I panicked! I did not expect this and did not even know that Pepper is pregnant!! The vet did not tell me anything when I bought her for vaccination just 2 weeks ago. How could a vet not know that she is pregnant?? What should I do?? Pepper refused to tend to the baby. I can’t left the little fella like that. He will die.
So I called my brother for help and asked him to check on the internet on what to do. I also made a few emergency calls to my friends for advice, and called the local pet shop owner who has a few cats. My brother came over and told me that we need to cut the cord. Geez! We both were actually quite afraid of bloody stuff but we struggled to tie the cord anyway. The internet advised that we tie the cord about 1 inch long but we tied it extra long, just in case. Cutting it off was another hurdle. It wasn’t easy at all as we did not have the correct tools. After we managed to cut it off, we then gently wipe the baby off, especially the nose. Maybe too gently, but better safe than sorry. Pepper is still ignoring the baby. I tried to bring her to the baby a few times but she just walked away. I had no choice but put a warm lamp beside the cage and cover the lamp with a cloth to make sure it is not too warm. I put the baby inside the cage, with some cloth to keep it warm. Then I put Pepper inside the cage, together with the baby. She is still ignoring it.
DAY 2 - Friday, 18th August 2006
It is now over 12 midnight.
A friend who has a lot of experience with puppies called me and told me that it is very crucial for the babies to nurse on the first 3-4 hours. She is not cure about kittens but puppies need to nurse. It was already 2am in the morning and I do not have any milk in the house and no pet shop was open. I went onto the internet to check what is the best alternative and whether the kitten can wait till the morning. Bernard was online as he was on leave the next day. When he found out about my kitten, he offered to go to 7-11 to buy some baby formula. He also bought eye-drop to feed the kitten with. Drove all the way to my place at about 3am, rinsed the eye-drop over and over again to make sure its clean. When we fill the eye-drop bottle with some milk, he even tasted it to make sure its OK! Thanks Bernard!
I named the little fella Blackie for his is pure black. Little Blackie didn’t take the milk we tried to feed him. Maybe took in 1 or 2 drops. So we just leave him instead of forcing him to take the milk. It is now over 4am. Bernard left to go home and catch some sleep. I then stayed with the kitten the whole night, making sure he is doing OK.
Early next morning, I went around checking with the vet for advice as Pepper is still not tending to the baby. I bought a kitten formula and kitten bottle. Then at about 1030am I found out that Pepper was contracting again and there are juices coming out of her. Oh No! She is about the deliver the 2nd baby! I made a few calls. One of the vet told me to leave her be as some cats can be in labor for about 48 hours. I was not comfortable and make another call. My brother also advised me to bring it to the vet. The other vet told me to bring her in immediately. I called my mom and she brought over a box to carry Pepper with. We placed Pepper and Little Blackie into the box and rushed to the vet. The vet checked Pepper and said there is another kitten inside. They gave Pepper an injections to induce birth and told me to leave Pepper there. They will keep me updated on her progress. So I went home.
After lunch at 100pm, I went to the vet again to check on Pepper. I found that she has delivered another kitten, a grey one. The vet has went out for lunch so the receptionist told me to go home and she will get the vet to call me. I called the vet at 2:30pm. The vet told me that they had to give her 2 injections to induce birth and that both mother and babies are all doing well. They can all go home now. I looked at the sky, it’s going to rain. So I waited. I took this opportunity to take a nap. At 4:30pm, the rain has stopped, me and my dad went to the vet to pick up Pepper and her 2 babies. Pepper is now a very good mother, staying close to her babies and taking good care of them. She licks them clean and keeps them warm. So left them together for the whole night.
DAY 3 - Saturday, 19th August 2006
On Saturday, I woke up at 8:00am and checked on the babies straight away. Little Blackie looked weak and thin compared to his brother. He does not seem to know how to nurse. I weigh both of them with the small weighing scale I bought yesterday. His brother weighs 100g whereas he only weighs 75g. This does not look good and I got quite worried. I tried guiding him to the nipples but instinct just does not kick in. His brother is happily sucking away. I sat there for 1 hour, trying to get him to suck. When it didn’t work, I had no choice but to try bottle feed him again. He didn’t quite like the bottle but managed to take in a few drops. After he is done, I passed him back to Pepper where Pepper will lick him clean.
I repeat it every 3-4 hours. By the 3rd time I am feeding him, he started to bite on the bottle nipple and took in a bit more. I was delighted. But I also know that it is still extremely little to what he is supposed to take. I was worried that he did not like the milk. So I took his brother, tried to feed the brother. And surprisingly, the brother was happily sucking on the bottle, refusing to let go. So the problem is not with the milk, is Little Blackie. He is getting thinner and weaker while the sister is getting bigger and stronger. I tried everything. Tried pushing little Blackie to the nipple that his brother is sucking, hoping that he would learn and follow his brother. It didn’t work. I tried dropping some milk to the Pepper’s nipples and putting Little Blackie’s face next to it. It didn’t work. He just doesn’t seem to suck.
By Saturday night, he seems to be taking a bit more milk but still not as much as he should. I kept trying to guide him to nurse while his sister is nursing, but without much success. To make sure he does not starve, I make sure that he gets fed, even at 3am in the morning.
DAY 4 – Sunday, 20th August 2006
On Sunday morning, he is making quite a lot of noise, maybe hungry. So I fed him, he drank a bit more. I called the cat mid-wife that was recommended by the vet and she said she will only be back on Monday night. She said she has a few cats who has recently given birth and she can try to help get Little Blackie to feed. I have decided to send Little Blackie to the mid-wife Monday night. I called the vet again, the vet told me nothing can be done, except to keep trying to feed Little Blackie. So Sunday was the usual routine of checking on him every 3-4 hours.
DAY 5 – Monday, 21st August 2006
On Monday morning, 800am, little Blackie took a turn for the worse. He is not moving much and is not making any noise like he usual do. At 400am he was still OK when I woke to feed him. I weight him and he now only weight 70g. His brother now weighs about 110g. I tried feeding him but he refused to eat. I do not know whether he will last through the day for me to bring him to the mid-wife in the evening.
As I have to go to work, my mom checked on Little Blackie whenever she can. She even tried to ‘chi kong’ Little Blackie, passing him the good chi so that he will get well. I rushed back home during lunch to check on the little fella and saw that he is growing weaker by the minute. It broke my heart seeing him struggling so hard to even breathe. He tried to open his mouth to call out when I carry him in my palms but there were no sound. He was just too weak. I then told Little Blackie that if he feels that it is too hard to go on, it is OK to just go. I then went back to work.
I then spoke to a few friends and one of them recommended that I check with the vet in Puchong. I called up the vet in Puchong. The vet actually suggested I bring Blackie up for a check-up and if necessary, they can actually give him a vitamin boost. The vet also told me to be prepared that kitten that young having problems may not live. It is just not meant to be but she assured me they will try everything they can to help the little fella. All the previous vets told me nothing can be done! As I am at work, I quickly called my parents to bring him there. I told my mom that in the event that the vet said Little Blackie cannot be saved, then we should get the vet to end his suffering. My parents quickly drove Little Blackie to Puchong while I waited nervously in the office for their news.
At 5:30pm, I received a sms from my mom. Unfortunately, Little Blackie has passed away when he reached the clinic. The vet has checked and confirmed the death. Sigh. It is extremely sad to see him go. In a way, Little Blackie was also my baby. But in a way, I am also glad that his suffering has finally ended. I reached home at 700pm to check on Pepper and the other baby. They were both doing very well, not realizing the lost.
I have realized from this experience that how important it is to have a good vet. I now no longer trust the vets in Subang. From now on, my pets will go to the vet in Puchong.