When Amanda Hodder met her newest neonatal, bottle-baby kitten, she knew she would move heaven and earth to save him. The tiny 2-week-old male kitten had been discovered abandoned alone and freezing one chilly Southern California night. He seemed to be part of a feral colony near Fallbrook in San Diego county.
Not wanting to pull him away from a possible family, rescuers waited a couple hours for his mom to return…but she never did. Knowing they couldn’t wait any longer, they easily grabbed the helpless kitten. He would be taken to Amanda who has made it her mission to dedicate her life to these kittens. You can follow her amazing stories under Kitten Rescue Life on social media. She also works with our friends at Love Your Feral Felines!
“I prefer to focus on severe medical cases and orphaned neonates. With my knowledge and experience I plan to change the future fate of neonate kittens.”
This special little boy needed that exact care too. He was severely emaciated, full of fleas and was refusing to eat. Amanda was happy to accept the challenge, and the two embarked on the life-saving rescue mission together.
During the first weeks of life for a neonatal, abandoned kitten, it’s the little miracles that need to be celebrated.
The kitten only weighed 160 grams, just over 5 ounces, when he arrived at Amanda’s. Kittens in their 2nd week usually weigh 8-14 ounces so he needed to get to a healthy weight quickly. He finally fed on his Kitten Milk Replacer and put on 15 grams in the first day. Those important feedings had to be every 2 hours, day and night, a huge undertaking for fosterers!
On day 2 in foster care, Amanda shared a worrisome update with her followers. They are aware that the delicate lives of neonates can turn on a dime and anxious for the babe.
“My rescue mentors said they were concerned, that he looked like he could be fading and to be prepared for the possibility that he may not make it. They recommended subcutaneous fluids every 8 hours, B12 injections, and adding pedialyte to his formula.
I have a name for him but until he stabilizes I’m refraining from sharing it for fear of causing more heartache. That is the plan for him. I’m keeping him warm with a heat disk and blankets. Because of all your donations, I have all the supplies I need to continue his treatment. Thanks to you I had everything ready and on standby for situations like this. I can’t thank you enough. You’re right here with us, helping to save his life.”
By the next day, he was responding well to the fluids, had put on more weight and even pooped solid (a very happy moment for bottle-babies!). His name was finally announced.
The world officially met “Space Bear”.
He was now more active, crawling to the front of his cage to meet the delicious food he was enjoying. Space Bear even loved snuggling and was a constant purring kitten, apparently even during his subcutaneous injections!
“All the signs are pointing towards him recovering, but he’s not out of the woods yet. His eyes are still sunken in but I’m hopeful.”
Over the next week, Space Bear happily continued to improve. His eyes were no longer sunken, his inner eyelids no longer shown, and he wasn’t tremble after feedings as he’d done at first.
Adorable updates were met with sighs of relief from Amanda’s dedicated supporters and much needed donations to help.
“I’m continuing to gain weight and show good signs. Mom says because I’m still under a pound, I’m being watched very carefully, because I could crash again at any time. I’m almost 300 grams, my stools are perfect, and I’m in good spirits. I’m always purring and love all the extra attention I’m getting.
I don’t like getting poked with needles but afterwards the medicine makes me feel better. Foster mom says something still seems off though, and she hopes I grow out of it. She wakes up every couple hours to give me yummy formula. She’s sleepy but says I’m worth every moment of rest lost. You can see her effort in my big belly. We will continue to update everyone and All the love, support, and prayers makes me feel so special!”
Another week went by with more progress, allowing Amanda to relax a bit. Space Bear was starting to be interested in wet food and the litter box, right on track with the age milestones. He was even officially over a pound by mid-November!
December began with wonderful news about Space Bear’s health.
“Remember Space Bear? He grew into his little body. SB is eating on his own fully, he’s litter trained and he’s bigger than his four older foster sisters. He’s the spunkiest too, he loves to play but will still roll over and cuddle on his back. And I do literally mean roll because his chunky belly is the biggest part of him now.”
‘Tis the season for it!
“He had a broad face and a round little belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly,
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself”
~ Clement Moore, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
On December 13th, he was neutered–after three vet techs had a difficult time even finding his little “trouble nuggets”. With some late bloomers, their testicles may descend later then others. But all went well and the workers at the vet office were easily drawn in by his adorable gravitational pull.
“How can you resist that face and eyeliner? You don’t my friends, you don’t.”
Right before the year ended, Space Bear found a forever family. He was renamed Bastian and has settled into his new territory with ease.
He bravely explored the unknown landscape with a confidence instilled by his wonderful foster mom. Although, it was more of an exploding rocket of kitten crazies and happy playtime soon after.
Then of course, a well deserved nap!
Not only did this family receive a wonderful Christmas gift, they gave Bastian/Space Bear the most precious gift he could have–a home.
Without the dedication and strong will that Amanda had to help him, he’d never have gotten to this point. In her rotating cycle of high risk kitten rescues, she is always in need of supplies that make these missions possible. If you would like to help out, here is how you can:
Amazon Wishlist: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1SCAPUBYPSNQZ
Find us on Venmo and social media @KittenRescueLife
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!