Adopting a Kitten

It took several visits to different shelters, humane societies, and other places of adoptions between states before I found my kitty, Phoebe, named after the character from Charmed. There was an animal shelter in front of animal services (where Phoebe was), and I visited a frightened, wide-eyed black kitten who was so terrified of people that she backed away into her own litter box. I knew she wasn’t for me and wished her the best before finding and employee who pointed me in the right direction of where I had intended to go.

I went from a building that was painted in bright colors with animals all over the walls to an austere looking building with an official-looking structure. I was told Phoebe was one month and twelve days old, however, I later learned that that was hardly the case. After a moment to evaluate me, Phoebe came up to me and smelled my arm before walking under my legs. She wasn’t afraid of me and kept near me, and having the first connection with any cat I had visited thus far, I took her home the same day, Thursday the 31st.

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I noticed from the get-go she had a sort of a cough and had a bit of a rounded belly. I’ve had a kitten before, so I know they can be rounder. However, this was immediately a different case. I put this aside as I focused on getting food and litter, getting her set up in my apartment so I could let her get used to her environment. She had a cough as well, which I figured was due to the environment change. After some time I noticed something white on her fur near her rear. I thought it was styrofoam from the previous day of building all her furniture, so I wiped it off with a tissue.

The next day, Friday, I really got to see her run around in full action. A cough still existed, and I was beginning to find more of the white things on her fur near her butt. It was later that day when I watched one wriggle out of her. Some sort of worm. Poor baby. My mom had come to visit, so on Saturday, we took Phoebe to her vet. She was scheduled for Monday, but I didn’t want to make her suffer until then.

Phoebe weighed 2.15 pounds, and from the vet’s examinations, determined her to be around three months old due to the stage of the tapeworm and her teeth progress. He also noted that she likely was halted in her growing stage from the tapeworm. Phoebe got half a pill forced down her throat and was fine for the next two days.

Tuesday, however, she became uninterested in running around and playing. She slept for the majority of the day, which I found a little strange since when she wakes up, she’s running around like a bat out of hell, but instead she’d walk to her water dish and walk back to snuggle back up on the couch. She tried to eat in the morning, but was largely unsuccessful.

By the time I was about ready to go to sleep, she wasn’t interested in doing anything but sleeping. I tried to play with her, and she didn’t even react to her string toy. Her eyes were wonky, and she still had a cough. I took her to an emergency vet that was thankfully only ten minutes away.

The only positive was that she gained 0.2 pounds, but otherwise, I learned that she had a fever of 104 degrees (Fahrenheit) when usual was 101. She took the thermometer like a champ, along with the shot of fluid and pain medication. She hated the taste of her medicine and the nose drops, but she immediately had an easier time breathing.

When I was adopting a kitten, I didn’t entirely plan on preparing for two separate medical situations within a week of bringing her home. Honestly, I fear what would’ve happened to her had I not adopted her. Would the employees have noticed her change in behavior? They left the kittens in a small room of their own. In our already short time of living together, Phoebe has already become an important part of my life, and I’d do anything to ensure she’s happy, safe, and healthy.

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P.S. Phoebe has her own instagram.