Sunday, March 12, 2006

The only thorn among the roses

I think I will write this for Chang Chang since he is not the most intelligent cat in the world.

The Wife picked him up from her office lift lobby after hearing his sister’s frantic cries. What she saw really startled her. Two tiny one-day old kittens in a cardboard box on top of the letterbox with their umbilical cords still attached and their eyes still tightly shut, screaming their tiny heads off as they demanded their milk. They had been cruelly abandoned by their human owner.

With no experience in looking after neo-natal kittens, the internet was really a life saver. It provided us a good source of tried-and-tested articles on keeping them alive and raising them. A big thank you to all those who had put down your experience into words.

It was a challenge keeping two malnutrition kittens alive. Both would not feed much and were severely dehydrated. The vet could not offer much help except to try harder and feeding them every 2 hours.

Sadly, Duan Duan (短短), the one with the short tail, passed on 12 days later despite a good fight. She was the stronger and bigger one and till today, it puzzled us why it was not Chang Chang (长长, haha you guessed it right, he does indeed have a long tail). Actually I had resisted naming them for fear that we will grow too attached to them since the original plan was to bring them up and adopt them out.

The good thing that came from Duan Duan’s passing was that we could devote 100% of our effort on Chang Chang. It was hardest 2 months. He was weak, did not like feeding, had frequent fevers and severe constipation. While other 4-week old kittens were exploring their surroundings in their usual kaypoh kittenish ways, Chang Chang was still struggling to stand properly on his thin shaky legs.

Feeding time had always been a challenge. The Wife took the morning and evening feeds while I did the 3am and rushed home everyday during lunch to take the noon feed. The little boy would not drink his milk and neither would he take his dry food when he was due for weaning. And that’s not all. He had a few bouts of fits which scared the living daylights out of us. I’m glad to say that our vet made quite a fair of money from us during that time.

By the end of 2 months when his health had more or less stablised, we had become the national treasure of China and Expressions Slimming Centre would have been so proud that we lost a combined total of 4kg from stress (ladies, please note this new way to slim down).

Despite all that trouble, he grew up to be a loving boy who would follow you around the house if he was not challenging KK, XX or BB to a fight. We dropped our plans to adopt him out as he has promised to stay at our place to pay off all the vet fees we had spent on him.

Name: Chang Chang (长长 meaning "long long" for his long tail)
Birthday: 1 April 2004
Breed: DSH (but he looks like an Abyssinian)
Rank: 4th to be adopted but is currently fighting for the Top Cat title
Favourite past time: Lying on newspaper when you are reading them, kneading on our blankets, napping on our chests and poking his wet nose in everything we do.

I have to say that it was a rather good decision to keep him. Anyway, nobody would want a not-so-intelligent (we think the fevers affected his brain a little) and “ugly looking” cat following you around the house almost 24 x 7, dropping at your feet so very often for a little petting and sayang.



Blogger CatDonna & Cats said...

Great job with Chang Chang! It's very difficult when the odds are stacked against you guys that badly, but you've pulled through! [And lost weight... heh heh!]

This is my theory about the very strong kitties dying: I think Mother Nature intends for the "middles" to survive, not necessarily the "strongest". My guess is that's why the very boisterous ones and the runts tend not to make it.

In my latest rescue litter, both the strongest and the runt died. Lucie & Boonie are "middles".

He's cute... I think Lucie will look like him when she grows up.

10:31 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Kootoo and M&M said...

That's unconditional love at its best, I think you guys are great! I can't imagine how you guys survive those nerve-wrecking months - I almost freaked out on the very day Kootoo had a bad bout of diarrhea ... *blush*

~ Kootoo's Mama

11:01 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

It is not something we want to go through again unless forced by circumstances. Not the best way to lose weight (and sleep). Hehe...

There was one time the Wife freaked out when CC had a fit and I was out of town the same time. We thought we will lose him then. But he pull through in the end. In his first 2 months, he had so many injections we lost count.

We are just glad he is still with us today. He is not the healthiest of the lot and we think the lack of mother's milk really deprive him the headstart he needed in life.

2:27 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Gigolo Kitty said...

That was such a wonderful story. I think that is a rather handsome kitty. Kudos to you!

10:58 PM, March 14, 2006  
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