The rescue of Batman the newborn cat
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.