I took the tabby Cinders down to the shelter yesterday for their FVRCP booster shots and used the trip to stock up on litter and food. As a parting gift, I was offered a two-month-old black kitten who’d arrived at the shelter two days previously. We discussed the fact that Spike has pneumonia but the other four Cinders are healthy, and I said we’d be willing to take the new kitten.
I waited while he tested negative for FELV/FIV. They wrote his name (“Goblin”) on a green collar and put him in a cardboard carrier. I packed him in the car along with the tabbies’ carrier and supplies. His carrier was dark and scary and he cried all the way home.
But Goblin the 100th kitten we’ve fostered at 50K! cheered up right away when I let him out in the bunkhouse and he met the Cinders. He’s a dead ringer for Salem, so we’ll make sure to keep his collar on to avoid confusion. After introducing himself (with nary a hiss or smack from anyone), Goblin found the food dish and had a snack. Like the rest of the Cinders, he’s on Clavamox to ward off URI symptoms, and his first poop was a bit sloppy. The pumpkin we’ve been adding to our canned-food cuisine is already solving that problem.
So Salem now has a lookalike pal who can challenge him for dominant status in the bunkhouse.
The tabby Cinders get more roly-poly and comical every day. To me they resemble fat little Ewoks who love to tumble around and wrestle.
I burst out laughing yesterday when I saw Dorothy (our fattest tabby) launch into a series of springbok leaps in the shower, getting all four paws in the air and twisting around as she jumped. All to intimidate Dorian, I think.
But what about our former alpha Cinder, who now spends every minute fighting to breathe? I took him to the vet yesterday, where they took x-rays and diagnosed pneumonia, as we suspected. He got a shot of Cephalexin and a prescription for Clindamycin. His temperature was normal and the vet said that he only felt a little dehydrated. He told us to keep doing what we’re doing: i.e. feeding slurry by syringe every four hours, administering subcutaneous saline every eight hours, and running the humidifier and shower to loosen the gunk in his lungs.
Spike is lethargic, but still seems alert, and we’ve managed to stabilize his weight. After we feed or medicate him, he’s strong enough to jump down and wander around before returning to the nest. He still can’t smell food and won’t lap, but he isn’t fighting the syringe like the Hellions did. In summary, he seems to be in limbo… one where he struggles for every breath.
Our hope now is that the medications undermine the infection and his immune system finally gains the upper hand. We’ve never been through this with another kitten (not even Peaches), so we don’t have any expectations.
filed by: TS