Introducing Leo: the poorly rescue kitten

On September 23rd, we adopted Leo! He is a rescue kitten from a shelter in Brighton and about 14 weeks old now. He's a typical moggy; 'officially' he's a black cat but he's got what look like white strips forming across his belly and I can definitely see some ginger in there too. This little man has been through an awful lot in his short life and I felt it was important to share his story and why I took him on. 

Sleepy Kitten

For a very long time we wanted to get a companion for Lily. Cats are not solitary creatures, and she definitely needed a friend to play with. Given her opinions of Ginger, the neighbours ginger tom cat while we were living in Brighton, it became clear the only way we could make this work was to find a kitten. I did not want to buy a kitten from a breeder or via gumtree, adopting from a shelter was the only way, so I contacted every single charity I could think of and was shocked to find that only two would re-home kittens to be indoor. One of these was the RSPCA and we were immediately cleared by the home inspection officer for adoption. I had selected a litter but they turned out to be entirely feral. Weeks rolled by and my calls for updates on an incoming litter were never returned so I decided to look elsewhere. I wanted to adopt while I was still on summer break and could be home 24/7 to supervise! 

Then I found Leo. My heart melted as soon as he was placed in my arms - he was so tiny at 930g and still had blue eyes - so I knew it would be a while before he would be old enough, and strong enough, to come home with me but I trusted that the shelter would keep building him up and he'd soon be mine. I was in regular contact with the shelter and got lots of updates and pictures which was amazing, but alarm bells began to ring when I was informed he had 'the sniffles' and had been placed on antibiotics. He had also come to the shelter with a serious case of worms but had been treated and I was assured the situation was under control. 

Meeting Leo

Weeks ticked by, and despite my pleading for him to be released to my care and that I was fully capable of administering medication and close to our vet, they said no. It was incredibly frustrating and time was running out. I had bought the highest quality kitten food I could find, along with supplement milk just in case. His poor little body had been through having nutrition stolen from him by these worms and also had to endure 2 weeks of antibiotics. The food he was on at the shelter wasn't great either so I knew I had a lot of work to do building him back up. I was prepared for hard work but I had no idea it was going to be such a fight. 

Finally, on 23rd September I was allowed to bring him home. He weighed 1300g, was off antibiotics and given a dose of Panacur worming treatment on the back of his neck. It did strike me as a little odd they weren't being more aggressive to treat what was apparently a very nasty case of worms but I just wanted him in the car and out of there by this point. He was a little bit snotty, he had weepy eyes, a distended belly and was quite sleepy. When I brought Lily home she meowed the entire time, but Leo went to sleep within minutes. 

We went straight into the spare room, which I had made into a make-shift kitten nursery! He would be spending at least 2 weeks in there so it had to be tailored to keep him occupied. He was happy to explore his new surroundings and I could not believe just how affectionate he was. All the did was purr with absolute joy, bop his head into me every chance he could get and insist on having cuddles on my shoulder. Lily knew something had changed and she was fuming. We tried our best to keep our routine as normal as possible for her, but she knew something was in the spare room and she wasn't happy about it. Thankfully I'd also stocked up on her favourite foods and treats, which she ate, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been! 

We alternated our time between rooms and prepared for a long night! Leo had always been with his litter mates so he'd never been alone before, so for this reason I decided to sleep in the room with him. He wasn't really doing more than picking at his biscuit, but put it down to nerves and wasn't too worried, feeling pretty sure come the morning he'd be very hungry and eat at least half of his wet food. This didn't happen. I was up all night with him. He was constantly sneezing, had horrific gas and an upset stomach to match... and I soon discovered that he wasn't fully litter trained. His eyes were streaming and his poor little nose was just as bad. He would snore and struggle to breathe through the congestion; so every 2 hours I would have to wipe his eyes and nose to keep him comfortable and take him to his litter box. 

Feline Herpes Virus

Next time I will talk about his emergency trip to the vets and our battle with Feline Herpes Virus. 

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Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.


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