Imagine hearing a kitten meowing from the oddest place, while being on your way to work in the morning. Serene, sister of one of our readers, traced the meowing to the top of the communal letterboxes at her block’s void deck in Marsiling. There she saw a shoebox, with a name scribbled on it, and inside – a small 2 week old kitten wrapped in towels, and a pet nursing bottle filled with milk.
|Simone in a shoe-box in Marsiling|
An evident act of abandonment, with some futile effort from the perpetrator to redeem herself by placing the kitten with towels and a milk bottle. This human basically created an orphan, whoever it is.
Distraught, Serene sought help from friends, and in the meantime, brought the kitten to work and tried to nurse her with the bottle.
|Serene hand-feeding Simone|
Since it was only 1 kitten, we offered to take little Simone in and try to get either Mary Lou or Bree – both nursing mother cats – to help foster the little one. If either mother were to reject Simone, we would hand-rear her.
So Serene brought Simone over to our foster home during her lunch hour.
Simone was a bit dehydrated and probably as a result, a bit of her third eyelids were visible. But she showed no symptoms of flu’, fleas or diarrhoea, and her temperature was normal – thanks to Serene keeping her warm with a hot water bottle. We age Simone to be about 2 weeks old – eyes open but no teeth yet – and tried to get Mary Lou to foster her. Mary Lou’s own kittens are now 4 weeks old and need to drink less milk now, so little Simone wouldn’t have to compete that much to suckle. Plus, Mary Lou has been a good foster mother to other kittens before.
We placed little Simone who was meowing away into Mary Lou’s pen. Barley, Berry and Bamboo immediately accepted their new foster sibling, but Simone didn’t know she now had a new mother cat. We slowly nudged Simone towards Mary Lou, covered the pen’s blankets, and waited.
Eventually, Simone stopped meowing, had found Mary Lou, and latched on to suckle!
|Hungry Simone suckling on Mary Lou greedily|
Mary Lou will continue to lactate for 3 weeks or so, which means Simone should have enough mother’s milk until she is weaned. In a week’s time, we will try partially weaning her with canned food. Mary Lou’s own kittens, Barley, Berry and Bamboo, are already experimenting with Mary Lou’s kibbles and water (like their mom, they don’t really dig canned food that much)!
Will be checking on Simone’s health to make sure she rehabilitates well from her dehydration, and to watch for any other signs of sickness that may occur down the line so we can rehabilitate her. The good thing is that Barley and siblings are very healthy now, the flu’ they had over a week ago is long gone, so there is a lower risk of Simone falling ill further. We hope little Simone pulls through after her shoe-box abandonment ordeal. For now, Simone is busy exploring the pen in between rounds of drinking yummy mommy’s milk!