Medical Care for 5 Stray Kittens

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Medical Care for 5 Stray Kittens

From Sallyann Snyder

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A litter of kittens, born to a feral mother barn cat with FIV, showed up under my deck. They were painfully skinny and sick with eyes crusted shut.  The shivering leader of the pack—the only kitten with an open eye—heroically guarded his siblings as I approached. I've never seen a braver little creature.

No sooner did I reach out to pet the fuzzy, hissing sentinel than he turned into an exhausted baby. I wrapped him up in my sweater, and he fell asleep on my lap. He tried to purr, but only a gurgle came out through his clogged nose and mouth.

I managed to scoop 2 of the kittens up and take them to the vet ASAP. They're receiving treatment now. (Hoping to get the other kitten tomorrow.)

The good news? Their eyes are fine!

The bad news? They have FIV antibodies.

They may or may not actually have the disease FIV.  The vet says that it will take at least 2 weeks for the kittens to grow enough to get a large enough sample. That means that I cannot foster the kittens as I'd planned.

In the past 2 years, I've rescued 8 barn cats and personally adopted 6. (You might recognize this viral image of Stella , whom I adopted last summer, and her kitten Hildy.) I cannot risk my cats' health by fostering the kittens, in case they have FIV.

Which means I'll need to board the kittens for at least 2 weeks and, of course, pay for their care until they're healthy again. A kind local vet has agreed to take 3 kittens for the price of one, in addition to individual medical expenses.

This is an emergency that I didn't see coming.  Choosing to adopt Harry, a very shy former feral I rescued, earlier this year ate up my crisis cat fund. But I just couldn't let these kittens down. If I take the kittens to the nearest shelter, I'm afraid they may be euthanized since they do test FIV positive for the antibodies test. I just can't let that happen to them.

If they are FIV positive, I will either find them welcoming homes or take them to an FIV-friendly, no-kill shelter. Please leave a comment if you are serious about adopting an FIV-positive kitten and are willing to come to Vermont to get one (or live within reasonable driving distance).

If they aren't FIV positive, I will either adopt them or find them loving homes.

Please help me fund these kittens' care until I can find them a home... or maybe give them one. 

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