So I promised to get back to the story of the ninjas in my garden. As mentioned in an earlier post, it turns out they hadn't moved far away at all. I went away for a week and came back to the news that they were still tumbling around the garden. Well that was great news - it meant there would still a chance of getting closer for when it's time to neuter these irresistable little darlings. So I tried to get a bit closer and was distressed to find out that one of the kittens had a really bad cough. I wondered at first where that nasty sound came from - couldn't believe it came from such a tiny creature.
Well, ignorantly I decided to give it a bit of time to see whether she might get better "natures way", but found no improvement at all. Only a nasty cough. So eventually I asked for my husbands help to get her in a cage. I actaully thought there was NO way we would catch her. BUT... the smell of Whiskas did the trick. She litterally walked into the cage herself. Quickly off to the vet and to the disappointing news that this little kitten didn't have priority, so she sat hugely distressed the entire day before the vet tried to handle her. Turns out she was too feisty for an examination. We got sent back home with the news that for sure it sounded very serious and was asked to give her a 15 day twice a day antibiotic treatment. Thank you! If the vet couldn't handle her, how on earth were we to give her an antibiotic treatment like that?? Initially we thought we had to keep her indoor, which lasted only for 24 hours. She was so distressed she didn't eat the entire time and she cried her heart out when she heard mommy kitties miaow the next morning. Healthwise it would probably have been better to keep her indoor, but I reasoned that her health would deteriorate rapidly without the milk and loving care of mommy kitty. To release her again was no doubt the right choice. She was estatic to be reunited with her mommy and brother. Now came the tricky bit. How to make sure she got the antibiotics. Well, back to some tasty wet Whiskas. Only now I had to make sure she got the right bowl. Remember, so far I hadn't been able to get close to these feral cats. I tried to sit real still and miraculously they instantly came for the food... only not in the right order. So I tried a bold thing. I swiftly lifted the little kitten and put her in front of the right bowl. She was so hungry it was as if she didn't notice a thing. Success!
It was as if the three of them knew I was trying to help Tiny, which we now call her (she was so much smaller than her brother Ninja, yes the big ninja fighter). To be honest there were a couple of days where we seriously doubted whether she would be there in the morning. She was in a real bad shape (felt so terrible I didn't get her off to the vet much faster). For the first week she just sat and could hardly catch her breath. She ran off if her brother wanted to play with her - it was just awful actually. There were moments where I wondered if it was more humane to bring her back to the vet to end her misery. But, and I say this tentatively, it appears she at last has gained some strength. She's not gasping for air all the time and only occassionally have some coughing fits. She's started playing with her brother again and is a real cheeky little trickster.
Here it's Tiny is with her mommy at the beginning of the week where it became apparent that she was better. In the top image it's time for preening after breakfast. Mommy puts her entire face in the Whiskas bowl and therefore needs a real good facial afterwards! It's brother Ninja giving the facial whilst Tiny combs mommys tail.
Please keep your fingers crossed for this "Tiny" little soul. The weather is about to change (storm, rain and much colder) and I hope she's now strong enough to make a full recovery in spite of the weather. Made them several shelters - only hope they'll use them as the rain sets in.