Training and Nursing my Rescue Cat back to Health
Dealing with the common issues that come with adopting a rescue kitten
Within the first hour of adopting our rescue kitten, my partner and I took her to the vet to get her illnesses known and under control.
But not before a hearty meal.
If you didn’t read the previous story about my kitten and would like to know more about how we actually adopted her, may I present —
Carrying Miu Miu
We didn’t have a cat-containment style bag-thing for the new kitten on our first day, so I bundled her in my jacket and carried her.
Her body lay in the fold of the jacket like a tiny package being delivered in a fuzzy envelope.
After a few minutes of walking, she stuck her tiny head out of the jacket and looked around. She stayed that way for most of the trip until the last five minutes when she darted back into the jacket, and threw up.
Obviously I could have walked perhaps a little bit smoother.
The vet saw us right away and confirmed our suspicions. The cat had conjunctivitis and needed to be put onto two different eye drops that had to be administered three times a day.
We’d only met the cat hours earlier and we were being told that we’d have to torture her three times a day for the next week. We worried for our new cat’s feelings towards her new adopted parents.
Doing the deed was torture for us.
Each day before work, after work and before sleep was a nightmare.
My job was to hold the kitten firmly and keep one eye open at a time with my fingers. It was my partners job to drop a single drop from each bottle into her giant eyes.
After each treatment Miu Miu was rewarded with a smelly treat, a treat that made her business smell absolutely horrendous.
For the first 48 hours of living the us, Miu Miu didn’t go to the bathroom at all.
I searched the house twice a day looking for what I was sure would be hidden puddles or secret brown packages.
But I always found nothing.
But thankfully after a couple days I was sitting on the couch, innocently playing ‘StarDew Valley’ on the Switch when Miu Miu stood underneath the clothes drying rack and left an enormous puddle under the socks.
I was so happy and relieved that I cleaned up the mess with no complaints.
To my even bigger delight she returned to the same spot about an hour later and deposited two enormous packages, just for me.
I was so proud.
This pride turned quickly into annoyance when twice a day after that, she would ignore the kitty litter and make enormous messes underneath the clothes rack.
I even moved the rack and put the litter box underneath, but she just did her business against the side of the box rather than inside.
It was clear that the only times she’d ever been inside the box were the times I’d carry her into it. She had no interest in being inside on her own volition.
After about another day of nonsense an idea struck me.
She liked doing her business beneath the clothes, and she hated the box.
I decided to go against my clean loving, floor maintaining ways and poured the entire box of kitty litter all over the floor beneath my clothes.
(My apartment is entirely hard wood floors. I didn’t pour it on the carpet like a savage.)
My trick worked.
About a day later she did her business on the kitty litter, exactly where she would always go (so long as a box wasn’t obstructing her).
At this point I was still using pizza boxes as litter boxes, because she wouldn’t go within a 2ft radius of the real kitty litter box I’d paid money for online.
I let her do her business on the floor a few more times before I cut the bottom off a pizza box and placed it onto the floor, underneath the kitty litter.
That didn’t seem to bother her, so I left it alone for a few days.
A few days later I taped one side of the box onto the base of the pizza box that still sat beneath the kitty litter.
(At this point I’m changing the kitty litter constantly to avoid her business soaking the litter and ruining the cardboard underneath).
A couple days passed and I attached the next box piece on schedule. I did this over the course of an entire week until I had built a box around her business area. She was now using the bathroom inside of a box.
About a week later I threw out what was now a rancid pizza box covered in peeling tape and replaced it with the plastic, official litter box. And she used it like a damn pro.
We did it.
By this point we were finished with the eye drops.
The vet extended the week-long prescription into two weeks after her eyes didn’t clear up enough in the first 7 days.
She still gets eye goobies pretty regularly, but the doctor says it’s fine. She also squints and winks a lot so I think she may have permanent damage because of how long she suffered before we found her.
She’s healthy now and gained a lot of weight which has been good to see. She looks healthy and happy.
When I first got her I assumed that she must have a docile personality, and I was thrilled for that.
It turned out she was just wary of us. Once she warmed to us she developed into an insane energy demon that runs up and down the house and bites like crazy.
Getting her to stop biting has been a mission unto itself. The journey never ends.