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  • Paula Tiberius

Kitten Rescue!

I’ve always known that I would never post a ‘cute kitten’ video on YouTube.

And like most things I’ve ‘always known,’ I was completely wrong. Here we are – me, Richard, Violet and my sister Kiry who was visiting from Miami – rescuing a kitten from inside our hallway wall.

A few weeks ago, Richard found a dead kitten in our driveway. He was bummed, of course, and we figured it must have wandered into our yard somehow – maybe a mom cat dropped it and ran when she saw Jackson and then Jackson killed it? Who knows? Then a few days later I saw a cat with a kitten in her mouth walking along the fence outside my office sliding doors. I thought, oh she must be moving her litter. Then I remembered the shed that doesn’t have a lock on it. I wandered in and sure enough, there was a tiny little kitten in there. I should have scooped him up right then because when I returned he was gone.

Then suddenly there was meowing every night and sometimes during the day, seemingly all over the house. We tracked the sound and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Finally we realized the kitten was up in the attic, and the sound was carrying throughout the vents, and that the mother was getting in through the roof somehow to feed it.

Friday night the meowing was so unbearably loud that on Saturday morning I woke up on a mission. I went up on the roof and could not fathom where the cat was getting in to feed the kitten, then crawled around in the attic unable to figure it out. When I came back down the ladder, I noticed that the meowing had changed location. Now it was coming from directly behind the wall in the front hall. If you watched the video above, you know what happened next.

This little guy came out:

Then I called my fabulous new friend Kelly Holland who I only met a few weeks ago. She’s having a huge fundraiser for her animal rescue charity this Saturday night. Come and spend money!  I know first hand what great work they do – read on.

Kelly gave me specific instructions for what to do. Take the kitten to see Dr. Shazad at Canoga Park Animal Center to get him checked out, then drop him off with the Petopia people who will be set up at the Westfield Topanga mall. From there he will be fostered, socialized with kittens his age, then put up for adoption.

But first we had to clean him up!

Violet helped Kiry and me bathe him in the bathroom sink, and that’s when we realized he was literally crawling with fleas. Oh man, it was so gross. You can’t see the fleas in this picture because they were so buried under his fur, but you can see the bites and the damage. Blood was flowing down the drain. In fact later the vet told us that many kittens like this die of anemia because of flea bites! Waah.

We picked the fleas out one by one with tweezers. At first we thought we could just flick them off with our fingernails, but they are slippery little bastards! we literally had to pluck them with tweezers as they clung to the poor little guy’s skin. Disgusting!

But worth it. And the warm water on his eyes softened up the gross scabs, freeing them to open up properly.

Here he is post-cleaning:

Then once he dried off:

You can see from Kiry’s face that she’s falling in love with him. In fact, he didn’t leave her lap much during the whole process. She’s allergic, but she didn’t tell him.

Then we proceeded with the plan!

Off to the vet, where a muzzled pit bull terrorized the lobby for almost the whole wait. I would have taken her picture, but she was too scary. But I did take a picture of the kitten’s grey patch, which is shaped like a heart. Cute!

The amazing Dr. Shazad! Pictured here with the kitten’s softie ‘mom’ who couldn’t snuggle him enough.

Thank you Dr. Shazad! He gave him de-worming medication and some eye ointment.

Next stop, the mall! We left the little guy with Debbie, pictured here on the right, who is feeding him cat formula with an eyedropper as we speak. Hooray! Thank you Petopia! Also pictured is Jennifer, holding the kitten, who helped us fill out the paperwork ‘releasing’ the kitten (not that we ever really owned him.)

There was some discussion about names too. Kiry told Debbie that she’d been calling him ‘Toupee’ because of his little grey patch on his head that looks like a toupee. Debbie didn’t look very impressed with this, but when we mentioned that the patch is heart-shaped, she suggested Valentino. We all loved it! I think that’s the name they went with, but we’ll have to wait and see…

Thanks for all your help Petopia! I’m just so relieved with could get him into foster care.

Back at home, the walls have stopped meowing.

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