Journey of a bottle feeder
By Heather M.
I am not an expert. I often define myself as knowing "A lot about a little and a little about a lot". I have bottle fed human babies, baby pigs, goats, puppies and foals. I have rescued little creatures since, well, since I was just a little creature myself. Now I am learning the ups and downs of cat/kitten rescue. Join me!
I moved to Georgia three years ago. I left behind so much with which I was familiar. And I left behind passions I missed very very much. Especially my rescue passion, horses. And trust me that left a HUGE hole in my heart. I looked around in my heart, my new home and my bank account. Horses were not in my future. Nor were farm animals. I have dogs and cats and I didn't want more. But...
I saw a Facebook post for volunteers at Pooler Paws to feed, clean or socialize cats. I answered, got a phone number to call and... froze. I just wasn't prepared to commit. I didn't call.
Months later Pooler Paws was looking for emergency bottle feeder for four kittens. I messaged. I would take two, I said. i thought four kittens might be too many. Plus bottle feeding was a commitment of maybe a couple of months; self terminating so to speak. I could handle that. They would come to my house, I would care for them, and send them on their way. Dip my toes in the water, so to speak.
Luckily, the Mama of these babies was captured the next day. I brought the little ones to the shelter which was conveniently less than a mile away. Pretty Mama still had milk, took back the kittens and I had a success story under my belt, Hurray! That went well, I patted myself on the back. Brownie points to karma.
Man plans. God and cats laugh.
Mama was a truly feral cat. Obviously frightened in the cage she cared for the kittens and looked for a way out. One day she outsmarted her human caretakers and escaped from her prison and hid away, leaving her kittens alone again. The little guys were going to be sent back to us, the bottle feeders. Instead I offered to come to the shelter and feed. We could leave the door to the cage open, I reasoned. The "Cat House", as we affectionally refer to the shelter, was close. It was relatively comfy. All necessary supplies were at hand. Mama might answer the call of her babies and go back to feed them.
Sadly Mama, now called PITA, had other ideas. She did not return to the dreaded crate. She hid on our enclosed porch which was used mostly for storage and had plenty of nooks and crannies designed to hide wily, scared pussy cats. By the time she was trapped she had no milk and no interest. Unhappy at ourselves, our mistake, our failure, we had PITA fixed, ear tipped and returned to her territory.
And thus Clawed-ette Monet, Vinnie Van Meowth, Curly Sue and Dude took up residence in the Pooler Paws shelter and in the hearts of the volunteers there.