The res­cue of Bat­man the new­born cat

Antelope Valley Press - - VALLEY LIFE - Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: Of all the places in San An­to­nio to get an oil change, I hap­pened to pull into the one that had found a tiny, black new­born kit­ten that morn­ing. He couldn’t have been more than two or three days old. An ab­scess had formed on his neck, and I knew a feral mother cat would not waste her time, at­ten­tion and milk on a sick kit­ten. In the world of feral cats, only the strong­est sur­vive, so when the mother cat moved her kit­tens, she left this one be­hind to die.

The men who worked there had heard him cry­ing and found him in the hol­low of a tree be­hind their build­ing. Although they had tried to feed him with a straw and cow’s milk, the kit­ten would not drink. I couldn’t leave him, and I knew I’d need a nurs­ing kit and the proper for­mula to keep the lit­tle guy alive. So, on the way home, I picked up a nurs­ing kit at a pet store, and the fol­low­ing morn­ing we made a trip to the vet’s, where the ab­scess on his neck was lanced and drained. The vet gave me some med­i­ca­tion for him and asked what his name was. With­out think­ing, I blurted out, “Bat­man.”

As I was leav­ing, the vet warned me that this del­i­cate ball of black fur was too small and too sick to sur­vive with­out his mother. He told me: “There’s a good chance he won’t pull through. I just want you to be pre­pared.”

“If I can keep him alive un­til his eyes open, he’ll be OK,” I told him.

I had to feed him ev­ery two or three hours, which meant I had very lit­tle sleep. He slept so deeply that oc­ca­sion­ally I’d pet him to make sure he was alive, still fight­ing for his life. When I fed him, I’d pick him up, hold him next to my heart and slowly rock from side to side while he drank his bot­tle of for­mula. “Hang in there, baby boy. Don’t give up,” I’d whis­per to him.

On the 12th day, I saw two lit­tle blue eyes look­ing up at me. I picked him up and cud­dled him while he drank his break­fast. “Wel­come to the world, Bat­man.” — N.R. in Texas

What a won­der­ful, happy end­ing. Against all odds, Bat­man sur­vived, but not all tiny new­born kit­tens have the good for­tune to be res­cued. Read­ers, we can’t res­cue ev­ery stray, but we can do­nate to an­i­mal res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tions and shel­ters. — Heloise

Plan for pack­ing

Dear Heloise: I saw the re­cent hint about a reader tak­ing photos of his lug­gage when get­ting ready for a trip. I do the same. I also made up a list of ev­ery item that I might need while trav­el­ing. I saved the list on my com­puter, and when it’s time to pack, I print the list. When I pack an item, I mark it off the list.

— Trena in Cal­i­for­nia Send a money-sav­ing or time­sav­ing hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to [email protected] I can’t an­swer your let­ter per­son­ally but will use the best hints re­ceived in my col­umn.

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