Saturday, September 17, 2005

Drive-By Birthing

So, I went out to get my laundry in off the line -- which, come to think of it, I still haven't managed -- got halfway to the clothesline, and realized I was hearing this loud, pitiful mewling sound from somewhere. It took me a while to figure out where, because the source was very dark and very tiny, and I looked right at it several times before even realizing it was there. Turned out "it" was a newborn kitten.[*] And I do mean newborn. As in, it was lying in a bloody patch on my driveway with an umbilical cord still attached. And no sign of a mother, naturally. Poor baby.

So, I've cleaned him off -- he was pretty dirty -- wrapped him up in a towel and gave him some warm milk with a syringe. (I stroked his tummy afterward, too, like the books tell you too, though it doesn't seem to have done anything.) And he's now lying in a shoe box, snuggled up to a stuffed bunny, and warmed by a hot water bottle, per instructions from this incredibly welcome website.

Thank god my vet has hours on Saturday morning, because, while the above probably made me sound all uber-confident at kitten care, I'm actually ignorant and petrified. And more than half expecting him to be dead in the morning.

[*] At least, I think it's a kitten. I thought at first it was a puppy, because I thought it was too big for a newborn kitty, but it looks more cat-like than dog-like, and the pictures in my ASPCA Complete Cat Care Manual of momma cats with newborns show them looking about the same size as this one, after all. (Hmm. Also, dogs don't generally have stripes.)

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