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.