So, after a night with no sleep we thought hearing that first cry might be an auditory hallucination, or a dream, or a miracle, and left us a bit dazed. The second cry sent us scrambling into action. The second kit had clearly gone to the bridge though her presence relieved the fear that there were unborn babes trapped inside Maya. However the dark little head we’d seen the previous night started squirming and squeaking at our touch. We bundled him up in fleeces and with a little wheat bag, and with one arm free, began re-making formula.
Had the heartbreaking job of burying Minim, and really not being sure how closed to leave her grave in case her brother needed to join her soon. We got a little formula into the tiny person who came to be known as Max, but it was hard to keep him warm and in the end we rushed down to the vets for help. Lovely nurse Lauren carried him around and got him warm. It dawned on us that the reason he wasn’t drying out and fluffing up like most new born kits was that he was really rather premature. He had a little fur on his back, but his front was quite naked, and his arms and legs almost translucent.
For the next 48 hours we lived and breathed little Max. Tiny tiny amounts of formula going into him, almost constant cuddles to keep him warm, and very gentle attempts to toilet him. When we had to take little Niki to her new home, our amazing child-proofer Erin and her mun Sally looked after him. The residents got on board and either through concern, cussedness or curiosity got seriously involved.
On Sunday 1pm nurse Rosy came from the vets to check up on him … no charge, just because she cares, because she’s part of an amazing vet surgery. Max was well hydrated and despite being tiny and premmy he was doing pretty well. We made plans about day care for when I went back to work on Tuesday. It’s a weird feeling – part of me fears he won’t survive the next half hour, part of me has to worry about how to manage his care for the rest of the week.
Sally & Erin popped round in the afternoon ….. with cake. It was at that point I realised I’d not eaten since Friday evening and not had a drink since I picked Max up from Sal’s on Saturday evening. So at 3pm, Sal and Erin took Max to their’s to give me a break. Away from the anxiety of every breath of Max I had a blissful couple of hours sleep. They texted me at 5pm because he was restless and mouthing for his bottle. I scurried round to collect him,
The little guy had a good feed at 5:30 and after that I spent some time on facebook looking for more expert advice about hand rearing premmy kittens, or getting surrogate mother. Had a couple of options in the pipeline, though they would have involved a bit of a road trip for us. At 7pm Max wasn’t so interested in his feed. He’d been asleep and not shouting for food, so I wrapped him up with his fleece and wheatie bag and we settled down for cuddles until he woke up properly for a feed.
Cuddling, and typing one hand on facebook to sort out our next move, I checked down yet again on Max …….
My heart was broken ……. he’d slipped to the bridge without a word. There’s nothing quite like the pain of a dead baby in your arms. We’re a week on as I’m writing this, in some ways the focus has changed as we have a new pregnant kit with us, but the agony of losing this babe will be raw for a long while to come.