Meet Miss Coco. Her first 4 weeks of life sure haven’t been kind to her- but man, she’s giving it her all—
Her story started with us (my fiancé Marcus and I) just under a week ago. The back story that was told to me was that the Momma cat died and the litter was broken up into separate homes. Some human had the bright idea of dropping Coco off (she was only 3 weeks old at the time) at an older gentleman’s house who recently lost his elderly cat. He tried to care for her- but he had no idea how to take care of a baby kitten. He was feeding her adult wet food- and she wouldn’t stop screaming and crying. He decided that he wasn’t the best thing for her and made the decision to surrender her. On his way to the shelter he decided to stop at his favorite bar/patio to have a drink. His favorite spot happens to be the restaurant that Marcus manages. Marcus heard the kitten screaming and went over to pick her up. She instantly stopped crying, curled up in his arm, and started purring. That’s all it took- all of sudden we have a cat.
By the time she got to me- she was skin and bones, covered in fleas, clearly dehydrated, and deathly ill. We cleaned her up- and started feeding her milk replacement every two hours to try to straighten her out. But I wasn’t convinced she was going to make it through the night. Against all odds- she did. We got her to the vet the next morning and after a hefty round of antibiotics, probiotics, and dewormer- she finally stopped getting sick. Things were finally looking brighter for Coco...
The next three days passed quickly. I work two jobs, Marcus puts in at least 10 hours at his job daily. But with the help of my Mom- one of us was always there to make sure she ate every two hours. When no one was home we kept her in the bath tub- because after all- there’s no way a four week old kitten could get out of the bathtub on her own, right?
This is where the story gets ugly.
Marcus got home from work before me last night and goes in the bathroom to get Coco. He goes to look in the bath tub and she’s not there. He finds her - face down - in the toilet bowl. She was completely lifeless. And to make matters even worse- I treat my toilet bowl with bleach tablets.
He starts screaming and pulls her out of the toilet. My mom runs into the bathroom- and started giving mouth to mouth and little chest compressions. Between the two of them they miraculously got her to start breathing again.
By the time I rushed home, she was alert- but severely struggling to breathe. You could literally hear the water bubbling in her lungs. Once again- I didn’t think she was going to make it through the night. We decided to take her to the ER vet.
We get there and they take her in- they made us wait in the car. The first “estimate” they gave us was $3,100. We were both instantly hysterical. There was absolutely no way. Our other two options were euthanasia or spend $400 for them to keep her on oxygen in the incubator for the night. The vet made it very clear that even if we spent the money there was a slight chance that Coco would even pull through...
So we waited. The vet was kind enough to let us thoroughly think it through. When we first got there her temperature was so low it wouldn’t even read on the thermostat. Four hours later they got her to climb 12 degrees. She was still fighting. So there was nothing more to decide. We paid the $400 and kept our fingers crossed.
She made it through the night. Another miracle.
First thing this morning we transferred her to my local vet where we could finally get the tests done, and get some answers.
The X-ray showed a collapsed left lung- which could result in surgery- and pneumonia in the right lung. She needs antibiotics 3 times daily, and has to remain on O2 until her pulse ox is at 93.
But she’s still fighting.
How do we make the decision to euthanize a 4 week old kitten?
I’ve spoken to four different vets and all of them are completely beside themselves with how well she’s doing. All of them are convinced that she WILL make a full recovery if given the proper treatment.
So the answer to that question is- we don’t. As long as she keeps fighting we will do whatever it takes to give her the chance to.
But we need help. Surgery or not- it’s a minimum of $550 a day until her tiny body heals enough to come home.
I’ve never done anything like this before and to be honest it makes me extremely uncomfortable. But if I’ve learned anything from this horrible year it’s that we can’t get through anything alone. Literally anything will help.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read this insanely long post.
- Theresa Leggett
- Jessica Veatch
- Nikolina Kreager
- Betty Wood
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