Fading Away

I’m sitting here on my deck with a very tiny, very sick kitty wrapped in a baby blanket in the sun, in a sad attempt to warm him. And I’m crying.

I brought him to the clinic this morning where they gave him a shot of fluids and vitamins and told me he has a 50/50 shot at making it. They said I always have the option of letting him go, but they said he’s gained some weight and is fairly alert, so if I was willing to do the work, they weren’t going to push to end it.

I set my alarm last night, getting up every 3 hours so I could dropper feed him. He won’t nurse and he isn’t keeping warm. He isn’t thriving.

They call it Fading Kitten Syndrome or FKS. And that’s exactly what he’s doing. Fading. Right before my eyes.

I feel like I’ve failed him. A more experienced foster probably would have caught on that he wasn’t nursing. A more experienced foster would have noticed his lethargy. A more experienced foster would know more of what to do than what I’ve failed at.

I’m doing all I can. At least, what I think I should do. I’m supplementing him, I’m giving him his medicine, I’m trying to keep him alive.

So here we sit. On my deck, in the sun, wrapped in a blanket. I’m listening to his congested, slow breathing and I’m doing something I rarely do – praying.

His breathing is getting more labored and I can’t tell if it’s because he’s in a deep sleep or if he’s dying. Part of me thinks I should have let him go this morning. That I should have ended this suffering. But he showed some promise and I can work with that. Or try to.

If he dies, I hope he knows I did everything I could, even if it was a little late. That in the middle of the night when it was dark and quiet, I showed him that while he was in this world, even if for a short time, he was loved.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on August 7, 2014, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Please, enough with feeling like you’ve failed him. He’s alive right now because of you. Inexperienced?? How exactly does one become “experienced?” Guess who will be looking for FKS in ever other kitten? Add this to the laundry list of things you watch out for.

    Nobody wins every single time, so that’s a tough standard to hold yourself to. Maybe he pulls through, maybe he doesn’t. But please don’t beat yourself up about it.

    Cassie, you do more good before 9 AM than most of us do all week. Just do your best, and try not blame yourself if it goes sideways. Everyone, even that little kitten, knows you care and you’re trying to do what’s right.

    /peptalk

  2. You did all you could. You really did, and you did amazing. Please don’t think “If I had been…” – look at what you achieved and did: you took the kittens home with you, you gave them shelter, food, water, and a lot of love, and you made a difference by doing that. I really really hope Ringo doesn’t die, but even if he does, he will have felt how you took care of him and loved him, and that is a lot! It means a lot.

  3. I hope you read and believe what bluzdude just wrote, it is all true.

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