In a busy “kitten season” in Louisiana, self-described “Foster Mother of Kittens,” Heather had her work cut out, taking in “the Crusty Noodles,” kittens.
A good Samaritan found the kittens named after pasta by themselves, cold and lifeless. They were in such bad shape the rescuers weren’t sure they would make it through the night.
Since there were so many kittens needing rescue and not enough fosterers, they were possibly weaned to wet food before they were ready and got sick. So, Heather had to tube feed them through the night, keeping them warm in an incubator. Soon afterward, the kittens learned to latch to a bottle.
The crusty kitten’s fate is common for those in overcrowded shelters, where more experienced fosterers are always in demand.
“It’s my opinion that they were weaned too quickly and due to the stress of being passed around between the shelter and a handful of foster homes, they became ill with some type of upper respiratory infection,” Heather said.
At the same time, Heather took in struggling kittens named for birds, like Ducky and a very crusty Steve-O, who she later adopted after falling in love with the scruffy kitten. He was her 100th foster baby, with no previous so-called “foster fails.”
The Crusty Noodles in Foster Care
The noodles were starving and needed to be separated since they were suckling each other, which can be deadly. So they stayed in their own habitats with stuffed animal friends to cling to, but with supervised playtime visits until they were older.
“Messy Fettuccine 😍😂”
Unfortunately, one of the Noodles, Ziti, didn’t make it, despite every effort, a warm incubator, B12, fluids, antibiotics, and veterinary care. It was heartbreaking after so much effort, but the foster mom did everything possible to save him. Despite occasional loss, she continues to save kittens and give them a chance for long, happy lives.
A Fungal Jungle
Then, the foster mom found herself in the “Fungal Jungle,” as the remaining Noodles all needed treatment for ringworm. That meant quarantine and repeated “deep cleans” of the nursery. Still, as an experienced fosterer, Heather says, “it’s just really not that scary.”
Fighting ringworm was another level of intensity, but she managed, giving the kittens a lime dip, topical treatments, and prescribed oral medication.
Now the crusty Noodles became wet noodles and quite a sight to behold, but they would recover.
“Rigatoni before dip…and after dip 🙃”
“Fettucine is an absolute goofball and a total mess.”
By the next day, the Noodles were already doing much better. Here’s Macaroni vigorously demanding more food.
Later, Heather found out the Noodles also had Coccidia, a single-celled organism, but they started feeling better a day after starting medication for that, too.
The Crusty Noodles Overcome the Odds
Despite everything that happened, the three Noodles overcame the setbacks and started to gain weight. At the same time, their purrsonalities began to emerge.
“Fettuccine has two modes: screaming and not screaming. She only makes two faces when she’s not screaming. These are those faces 😂,” said Heather.
“Rigatoni is just a good little dude. Funny, always doing something cute, and most importantly, pooping solid logs.”
“Macaroni. Macaroni is just doing his best, okay? Isn’t that what we’re all doing?! But seriously, this sweet little ham is so much more bright and alert today; I even caught him throwing the toy around the last time I peeked in there. Love you all so much my little Noodles, so happy I got to be a part of your journey 🥰”
Now that the crusty noodles were doing so much better, another foster mom took over their remaining care. When they were ready, they would be neutered and spayed and find forever homes. All of this is thanks to the fosterers and to donations from kind people who care.
“Missing the crusty noodles already. The house is foster free, once again, and I hate it. Time to deep clean the nursery. Again 🙃”