Saturday, March 13, 2004

Twas the night of Christmas, and I found a feral kitten staring at me from my hayshed. Not my first - at my old house, I spayed/neutered 22 feral cats and kittens, and early in the process bought my own humane trap...just seemed like a good when I went out to feed my horses on Xmas and saw little glowing eyes reflecting in my flashlight, I naturally ran to the garage and grabbed the trap.

In the morning, there was a frightened little black kitten safely in the trap, hissing at me for all she was worth. I set her up in my gigantor Vari-Kennel in my tackroom with a cozy bed, food, water and a litter box and waited to see what would happen. She didn't do very well.

What had recently been an angry wild kitten had rapidly -- within a few hours -- mushed into a sad little barely-responsive creature. Luckily I have a good friend who is a veterinarian and I rushed little kitten to his hospital...he thought I was crazy, me and my less-than-two-pound half-dead feral kitten, but he also knows me well enough not to ask questions when I'm sure about something. And I was sure that I had to save her.

So she got the works. IV catheter, fluids, antibiotics, many more meds than I will bore anyone with...but we went balls-out to get this kitten back on her feet, and what do you know, it worked. I honestly wasn't sure it would...she was really out of it. After about four hours she woke up, looked around with her big round scared tiny eyeballs, and started regurgitating pretty much right away.

What the hell, we thought. So we took an xray and saw what can only be described as a big fat gnarly mess of something in her esophagus.

By some stroke of luck, we found an internist willing to endoscopically remove whatever was obstructing this little girl's throat at 6 pm on Dec. 26 (and a Friday no less - I think his girlfriend is still holding a grudge ;)) The poor guy, the vet that is, agreed to do it thinking that it would be a quick and easy grab and pull - we all thought that -- six hours later, after he had patiently extracted bit after bit of amorphous crap from this kitten's esophagus, we found that wasn't the case.

Phew, we all thought. At least that's over. But in the back of our minds...why can't this kitten swallow?? There was no obvious obstruction. Why?

Dr. Patient With The Endoscope had the foresight to place a PEG (stomach feeding) tube, because he thought it would be a bad idea for her to try and swallow food right away after what she, and her sad throat, had been through.

And that's all for now...more of the Christmas Kitten serial soon...

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