It is on that backdrop that I'll introduce a lovely but stray neighborhood cat - Cleo - that Steven found hanging around looking like she needed a friend and a warm home early this fall.
He brought her inside, realizing she was expecting a litter of kittens and knowing that cold fall nights are not suitable, life sustaining conditions for newborn kittens.
.....He never realized, however, that he was signing up for the whole kit and caboodle and a life-threatening journey for momma cat.
Not only was Cleo pregnant, she was VERY pregnant, 5 beautiful kittens were surprise delivered the next day while Steven was out, but mama Cleo was not well... Cleo was very sick, and after consulting with Beverly (my sister!) Steven and Beverly decided that for the best chance for momma and her kittens, she needed to see the vet. After an emergency vet visit, they learned that Cleo had a fever, infection, and a 6th stillborn kitten stuck inside.
Faced with the choice to orphan the kittens and intervening to save them, Beverly and Steven opted for a weekend emergency c-section to remove the 6th kitten and address her life-threatening infection. After lots of $$$, meds and flea medicine for everyone -- she was on the road to recovery.
It has been a long road of specialized care, medications and a time spent lovingly caring for this momma and her babies... and now we're asking for help:
-Cleo cannot go back to the cold hard Grand Rapids streets in the winter, and will need a full time, forever home. Little is known about her call to the wild -- she may settle into being an indoor cat and doesn't mind a harness and a leash. She has also been fine with other, non-related, household cats. She's still a baby herself at just over 1 year, and sweet as can be.
-Cleo's sweet thangs (all candy named and just over 2 months old) need homes as well, with the expectation that new owners spay or neuter the kittens so as to avoid the cycle -- and you can change the kitten's names, of course, by why would you want to?? (photo below: from the black cat (York) clockwise: Charley, Werther, Reese, Honey (as in bit o' honey)
-Finally, and just as importantly: please contribute $$ to help recover some of the costs of saving the lives of these precious darlings so that next time they have a choice to save a stray and her babies, Steven & Beverly can easily make the same choice again. (personally, I am hoping for puppies next time :))
And a small PSA for all you animal lovers out there: Please spay or neuter your animals, so we don't end up with more unexpected/neglected babies in our neighborhoods.
- Felicia Burger
- Maleika Brown
Organizer and beneficiary
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