So, on Friday, I was gardening for my aunt, when a small grey-and-tan kitten emerged from the bushes. I called to her and she trotted right over immediately, rubbing her nose against my hand and purring like an engine. I was shocked upon petting her at how thin and mangy she was. Her coat was matted and falling away in some places, and I could feel every bone under her skin. She was clearly sick and a stray, but never hesitated to give me anything but love. My aunt has had cats for 20 years, all rescues, and immediately upon seeing the kitten told me I had to take her home with me. Which made me happy, because that had been my plan since about 5 seconds after meeting the cutie, and now I had an excuse for my mother. We fed the kitten, and drove home with her in a carrier.
I was saddened when I woke up on Saturday morning to find that she was lactating after a night of being consistently fed and loved. She must have had kittens. I freaked out, terrified to have taken a mother away from children who needed her. I called 2 vets, one at the Humane Society and one where I’ve taken my other cat, and they both said the same thing. Based on her size, regardless of the fact that she was a stray, she was probably about 4 months old. She hasn’t even grown into her ears yet. They reassured me (if this is even reassuring) that her kittens were probably born dead or died shortly after birth because she was too malnourished to feed them. This fact was supported by her behavior upon staying overnight at my house. She hadn’t cried or tried to get to her children at all, which means she’d either raised them into adulthood already, or they were no more. They told me that I had two options: take her back to where I’d found her and follow her to a litter that may very likely not exist, and risk losing her, or just be happy with the fact that at the very least, I could save her. I chose the latter. We named her Rosie, after Rosie Perez in Do The Right Thing because she is a tough but tender and feisty lady.
This is where the problems begin to arise. I can’t keep her. I already have a cat, Loki, also a stray rescue, that owns my mother’s house (where I’m staying now), and he’s being patient, albeit begrudging, about the fact that another cat is occupying my bedroom, where he usually sleeps. We’ve kept them separate to prevent disease transmission, but it’s clearly stressful for him. Additionally, my mom is in no financial state to take on another cat. I live in a school dorm during the year. We tried to get her to a shelter or rescue program in our area. I literally called 50 places, some an hour away. They are all full, no exceptions, and basically told us we're going to have to do this on our own. I didn't know what else to do, so I started asking around to see if friends could take her. No one responded at first, and I can't easily ask to find her a home with someone I don't know because I leave for summer camp within 2 weeks and wanted to get this figured out as quickly as possible. I’ve found a potential loving home for her with my friend Blake. He lives in Bushwick and will take incredible care of her. I trust him. I can get the cat to him easily because he's basically my mother's second son and she'll drive all the way to NYC with a cat to make him happy. :P But he and I are both poor college students who just want to give a lonely kitten a good life. We are broke. When I say broke I mean I think I have $17 to my name right now. Like, broke. She needs vet treatment right away, shots, very potentially, antibiotic treatments, more unlikely, surgery on a weird lump in her lower stomach (probably resulting from her young pregnancy) and definitely a spay. The spay is the least of our worries. She’ll be an indoor kitty so we can wait at least a month or so to save up some money. What I’m more worried about is vet bills, which are giving me serious anxiety. She needs medical treatment pretty much now. My mother is just as broke as us, or she would be helping. We’re taking her to a free vet visit at PetSmart tomorrow (they offer the first visit free if they’ve never seen your pets before), but it’s only a checkup with some disease testing, and will probably result in a laundry list of treatments she needs. She is definitely sick in at least one way, potentially getting sicker, and that worries me.
I would normally never do this, because I have really weird guilt about asking people on the internet for money. But if there is any any way that you would be able to give even $3, it would go a long way for us to make Rosie happy and healthy. I could never in good conscience leave a hurting animal on the street, and she’s going to make an amazing, loving pet. Her favorite activities include eating, mewing loudly every time someone enters the room (not because she’s excited to see you but because she wants more food or someone to pet her), cleaning herself, pushing around her empty food bowl with her nose, and making the most fucking adorable faces I’ve ever seen. She has been so good for me. She barely protested when I trimmed her nails, and wasn’t bothered in the least by the bath we gave her because she stank to high heaven. We’ve been feeding her kitten food so she’s plumped up a bit, and her coat is thicker and shinier now that she’s in a safe place. She’s well on her way to being happy, but she's still too weak to play like a real kitten, and I want to get her to that place. If you could help even by boosting the signal to see if others would be willing to chip in, it would mean the world to both me and her.
Thank you so, so much for anyone who's taken the time to read. I just want to get her to a safe home where she can live out her days happy and healthy.