Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on March 15, 2012. Enjoy!
Written by Dawnrose D’Aloia of New Jersey
It was one of those hot, summer days when my son, Mark, burst into the apartment stating he needed “a bottle of water and a dish of cat food right away.” Since we already had two rescues, I had a feeling I knew where this was going. I asked him what he was feeding and he assured me I did not need to know. Three days this went on, and finally I demanded, “Show me what you’re feeding.”
He took me around to the end of the complex, bent down by a dirty bowl that once held food, and called “ChaCha! ChaCha!” This poor, pathetic little kitten walked up to him, looking like she had just been beaten up. Her ears were chewed to shreds, and she was clearly undernourished and weak. She nuzzled up to him, lovingly, as though he were her best friend. Need I describe how this tugged at my heart?
So I called my boyfriend, whom I thought would be the voice of reason, and asked, “Should I take her in?” Thinking he would say, ‘What are you, crazy? Three cats? No!’ Instead, he said, “Sure as long as Marky agrees to help with the care.” Sigh. “You are no help!” I told him and hung up. I looked down at my son, with this sweet little critter lying in his lap, and said, “Bring her.” He was overjoyed, telling ChaCha how she now has a home!
Her Ears Were So Painful
I gave her a flea bath, as I do to all my new additions, and while cleaning her ears, she shrieked in pain and shook her head violently. I thought it was hurt from a fight, but when I cleaned it out with a cotton ball, cotton swabs and a tissue, found the culprit – ear mites. I ran to the store and picked up some ear mite treatment, and after a couple weeks of “challenging” treatment, she was free of this problem.
I noticed her stomach was slightly swollen, and thought worms, since she seemed too young to have been in heat yet. I bought a deworming liquid and, since worms are very contagious, subjected all three kitties to the deworming. After about three weeks, her stomach looked even more swollen. I was alarmed, thinking blockage. As I was palpating her abdomen, I felt a lump, then movement. I gave my son my diagnosis: ChaCha did not have worms, she had kittens.
September 12, 2011, while I was at work, my son called me frantically that ChaCha screamed, ran around the living room, and he noticed a kitten’s head was sticking out from under her tail. I told him what to do, and he delivered five precious little monsters like a pro. As each came out, he gave them names. It was what he had always wanted.
After about a month, ChaCha was not producing enough milk for the babies. They were hungry and I was afraid they’d starve. I ran to the store again, and picked up a few cans of kitten milk. We tried bottle feeding them, but found they did better lying in it on a plate. After two weeks, I started smashing canned food up and making a “gruel.” The little fatties would eat, clean themselves, then sleep. I was playing mommy to these kittens, as ChaCha wasn’t able to clean them enough. I fed them, cleaned them, and played with them. My son had them sleep with him, and was in charge of teaching them how to poop where they’re supposed to.
When the babies were three months old, my friend who had lost her cat of 14 years, Rocky, called me on her birthday asking for a kitten. She went to my house and picked out the calico my son named Widdleface (because she had a little face). Widdleface was renamed Kali, and got a new mommy. Then my son’s friend and his mom wanted one, and our all black beauty, Onyx, had a new home.
All Are Safe and Sound
We wound up keeping the other three, and now I’m the crazy cat lady with my oldest male rescue, Trogdor, my second male rescue from Queens, Shadow, aka “The Baby” and ChaCha with her babies, Whitenose (a male, the only longhair of the three), Graysome (the gray and black tiger male) and the smallest, but toughest little tortoise shell female, Squeeky. I may be the crazy cat lady, but I can’t imagine not having all six of these babies. More photos of ChaCha and her kittens