You never know what you are going to come across when trapping feral and stray cats. Life on the streets is unbelievably difficult, with life-threatening issues arising daily. For feral and stray kittens born into this environment, many don’t overcome these obstacles. When the TNR team at Coastal Bend Cat Rescue in Corpus Christi, TX took on a rescue mission last December, the were prepared for the worst.
Which is exactly what they got from the kittens trapped.
They were absolutely covered in the worst case of ringworm they’d seen. Not only the worst they’d seen as trappers, but the worst their veterinarian had seen!
Our team‘s Sunday TNR job turned into a full on rescue project. We took in 7 kittens from two different litters, all of them sick with URIs & covered in ringworm. We also trapped 5 adult female cats & 2 adult males (no more kittens this spring!!)
The feral adults have been dropped off for surgery. The kittens are being cared for by one of our team’s medical foster homes. We are very grateful to Gulf Coast Humane Society for arranging to take in some of our adoptable kittens so that we could care for these sick babies.
Ringworm is a highly contagious fungus that spreads like wildfire in a foster home. We go through puppy pads, cleaning supplies & medicated shampoo SO quickly. All of the kittens are severely underweight so higher quality Royal Canin kitten food is also needed. Battle Ringworm is a hard one but WE WILL WIN!
The two litters of kittens consisted of 3 juveniles and 4 bottle-babies.
As it tends to be with teenagers, these 3 certainly had “stray cat stubbornness”. That was not only paired with the ringworm but also mange, ear mites and upper respiratory infections.
After several weeks, the teenagers responded to medical care well and healed from their ailments. However, they were not ready to accept the indoor lifestyle. Fulfilling the TNR, they were released back into the colony.
Although this is a hard decision for us to make as a rescue, sometimes it has to be done. [It’s] based on the age of the cat and how well they adapt with socialization, along with the resources we have available as a rescue team. They were given medical care and fixed and ear-tipped prior to release.
The 4 baby kittens were facing a tougher battle in their medical foster home.
The foursome needed to get to a healthy weight while fighting their parasites. It was not going to be easy, or cheap, to saves these babies. Coastal Bend Cat Rescue volunteers vowed to do absolutely everything they could for them.
All the kittens were malnourished, dehydrated, had fleas and URI’s. They also ended up with Coccidia and were legitimately covered with the ringworm. Their fur actually fell off in clumps it was so bad. Veterinarian’s were as shocked as the rescuers at the extent of the case. With the severe contagiousness of ringworm, the kittens had to be isolated and handled very carefully. Ringworm can infect everyone…even humans…that it comes in contact with.
The organizations dedicated social media supporters were happy to help however they could. For a $40 sponsorship fee, followers would be able to name the little nugget of their choosing. The two gingers and one brown kitten were all males; the tiny tortoiseshell was the solo sister.
With the holidays approaching, the babies were aptly named Faith, Tinsel, Figgy and Elfin.
The new babies have been named! We love the holiday theme & thank you so much sponsors for adorning them with names! #DecktheHallsKittens “Deck the halls with ringworm fun-gus, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!” LOL
It had been just over a week since they were rescued, when tragedy struck.
Little Faith, runt of the litter, had been bravely fighting with the help of her foster mom. On December 18th, she sadly lost the battle.
We are devastated to report that baby FAITH crossed over the rainbow bridge yesterday evening in her foster mama’s arms. She has been a critical case ever since rescue—half the size of her siblings, extremely malnourished, dehydrated, covered in fleas & suffering from an upper respiratory infection. We tried everything we could to pump some life back into her but we believe her little body just couldn’t fight anymore. =(
Street rescue is one of the most physically & emotionally challenging things you could ever imagine. We see so much neglect, sickness & suffering. And this suffering is preventable if more people would spay & neuter their pets & practice responsible pet ownership. Our spirits are crushed today & we are mourning the loss of little Faith. Thank you to everyone who has donated food & supplies towards the care of these babies & thank you for believing in our mission to save lives & make a difference. Rest In Peace Faith, you were so cherished.
Volunteers were heartbroken but resolved to help Tinsel, Figgy and Elfin survive their ordeal.
The trio were dewormed several times as they healed. By January, they were set into a routine of ringworm baths–always a fun task.
We now have them on oral anti-fungal medication along with their medicated baths multiple times a week. Ringworm is very treatable, but it takes a dedicated medical foster home to tackle it. We are VERY appreciative to everyone who sent us supplies for these ringworm babies.
**Please understand their kennel setup isn’t the cutest because of the sanitization steps involved with ringworm cases. Everything in the kennel must be sanitized daily, so we use plastic toys & disposable puppy pads & cardboard for lining the kennel. Cat trees, scratching boards & fabric are breeding grounds for the ringworm fungus.**
Once they were finally out of quarantine, they were able to work off their little potato-bellies. Fluffy fur and whiskers have now begun growing in again.
After almost 2 months of medical care, Tinsel, Figgy and Elfin are FINALLY cleared of their ringworm!
They will be going up for adoption within the next week or so. These sweet kittens have been through so much in their short lives. Now, thanks to Coastal Bend Cat Rescue, that was just the beginning of their stories. These kittens deserve a life of comfort and maybe a bit of spoiling!
“It was one of the most emotionally challenging rescue intakes we have ever been through since these kitties were so sick,” admits manager Lindsay Haglund.
If you are interested in adopting one of the Deck the Halls Kittens–or any of the many other deserving cats in their care–please follow their Facebook page to receive notifications. If you would like to donate, please follow their Paypal link here. Remember, they are a foster based rescue organization. The felines are only available through partnerships with local shelters.
It truly takes a village to save even the smallest life.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!