Saturday, June 21, 2014

Meet Gizmo

This is Gizmo.  The new addition to our family.  And what an addition he is!  I found him through a posting on Facebook.  A local woman posted that she'd found this little thing wandering outside her house.  She posted that the kitten was a female, and needed a good home.  She stated that she had dogs, so this little kitten needed somewhere that was safe to live.  My heartstrings plucked, and I just knew I had to have her.

I've been wanting another kitten for a long time.  Not for me, but for Jelly.  I absolutely love my cat, Katniss. She is my fur baby.  But, recently, Katniss has been taking a strong liking for Jelly.  She would sleep with Jelly, lay with her on the couch, and follow her around the house.  And, I'll admit, it was making me kinda jealous.  Katniss is MY cat.  It was already bad enough that I had to compete with Hubby for her attention, but now Jelly was being thrown in to the mix for me to get some snuggle time with my own cat.  So, I figured it would be good for Jelly to have her own cat to take care of.

So, when I saw the posting, I jumped on it.  I spoke with the lady that posted the pics, and she told me that the kitten looked to be in good shape.  She didn't see any signs of injury or mange or even a flea problem.  However, on the night we picked her up, the lady's sister was delivering the kitten, and we both realized that the lady hadn't really had a chance to give the kitten a full inspection.  As soon as I took her in my arms, I noticed the fleas.  Crawling all over her.  Then, there were the little scratches (probably self inflicted) all over her little body.  Finally, there was a giant bump on the top of her head that concerned me.  But, I'm not a person to turn away a cat that needs some TLC, so I took on the challenge.

We brought the cat home, and Jelly was absolutely ECSTATIC.  She thought it was the greatest thing to have her very own baby to take care of.  The first stop?  Bathroom to get some idea on how bad the flea problem was.  I picked up some flea spray and started to give her a bath, and OH EM GEE.  The fleas were coming off of her in hoards.  They were EVERYWHERE.  I was quickly wondering what I'd gotten myself in to.  I take pride in the fact that Katniss is almost 2 years old and hasn't had a SINGLE problem with fleas.  Sure, she's gotten a few on her, but I've kept the situation contained with a flea collar and nipped in the butt before it got out of hand.  This time, I didn't know if I had the ability to take care of it.  The kitten was way too young for a flea collar, and I wasn't even supposed to be using the flea spray I was using.  But, then, everything took a turn for the worse while I was cleaning her.  The knot on the top of her head popped.  Yes, you heard me right.  Popped.  As in (hold back your dry heaves), "stuff" started coming out of it.

I immediately decided this was WAY beyond my expertise and got my vet on the phone PRONTO.  She told me to take the kitten up there for them to take care of.  So, Jelly jumped in the car with me and off to the vet we went.

We found out several "surprises" once we arrived.  The first being that she was in fact a HE.  Not a female kitten at all.  Which is OK, because Katniss is spayed.  But, it's still taking some getting used to calling him by boy pronouns.  The vet took him back to give him an exam, and came back to report that he was INFESTED with fleas.  So much so, that he was showing signs of anemia from the flea bites.  The knot on his head was an abscess that required a draining tube being placed to ensure proper healing.  He also had roundworms and was severely malnourished and dehydrated.

That poor baby wouldn't have lasted a few more days without some immediate care.  Thank goodness we got him when we did.

The vet took quick action treating the abscess, the fleas, the worms, the anemia, and being malnourished.  She packed me up with antibiotics, special food, and instructions on what to do.  The first 48 hours were going to be critical to ensure survival.

I left the vet a nervous wreck.  When I said I wanted Jelly to take care of a new kitten, I didn't mean having a hand in bringing him back from the brink of death.  All I kept worrying about was Gizmo dying.  What kind of impact that would have on Jelly?  Would I be giving her a new kitty only to have it ripped from her by something as traumatic as death?

We got him home, gave him the bath the vet recommended, gave him some food, and just waited.  Jelly got him all wrapped up in one of her blankets, and all cozy in Katniss's cat bed (that she has NEVER used).  And the kitten didn't move for the rest of the evening.  I decided to sleep in the living room, so I could keep an eye on him.  He slept so soundly I had to keep getting up to make sure he was still breathing.

The next morning, I woke up on the couch to find Jelly holding Gizmo in her arms.  At first I panicked, thinking she had discovered he'd passed in the night.  But, when I heard his small meow, I relaxed.  I busied myself with getting him some food and his medicine, and he ate very well.  Jelly didn't want to leave him to go to summer school, but her dad reassured her that he'd take good care of Gizmo.

Here are two pics that Hubby sent me during the first day...

Sitting on Hubby's leg
Curled up in Hubby's blanket on his footrest
As soon as we got home that evening, Jelly was right by his side taking over the care duties.  Gizmo ate more food, took his medicine, and even played with Jelly.  She even decided that she was going to skip going to softball practice with us so that she could care for her baby.  In fact, before I left, this was taking place...

Jelly showing Gizmo how to put puzzles together
That night, Jelly decided that she should sleep in the living room with Gizmo, and Gizmo couldn't have been happier.  He hadn't really walked around a whole lot since he'd come home, so Jelly decided he should be close to her in case he needed anything...

Gizmo all snuggled up on a sleeping Jelly
We have, now, successfully made it past the 48 hour "critical time", and I'm happy to report that Gizmo is healthy, happy, and on the road to a full recovery.  He's eating, playing, following us all over the house, and is constant need of some attention.  He's already spoiled rotten.

This weekend, Butter and Jelly went to P-Momma's for a weekend with their Grammy.  Jelly wasn't so sure about leaving Gizmo so quickly, but Peanut is currently babysitting.  Gizmo has been in Peanut's room all morning, snuggled up with her on her bed.

Katniss still isn't sure about him.  She hisses when he comes within 10 feet of her, but I'm hoping they will soon become fine with one another.  Even though Katniss is spayed, I know that she can be a good momma.  We've been there, done that before.  I'm sure that once she realizes that Gizmo isn't a threat, she'll take over the duties of bathing and keeping him inline.

Before I go, I'll share a two more photos.. cause who can't get enough cute kitten photos?

A much healthier Gizmo exploring her new home

Snuggled up in his bed with a toy to keep him company
I hope everyone has a great Saturday!!

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