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Mama Fufuka Kitty
by Marijo Phelps
8/31/2009 / Short Stories
Mama Fufuka Kitty (supposed to be Greek for Princess)
We had decided to get a kitten. After we got to the Humane Society I began to think about how the older kitties might be euthanized.
"Hey, look at that Tortie over there, she looks about 9 months old."
The kitty in question was curious and came to the door of the cage to sniff our fingers and she was purring!
"OK, maybe we shouldn't get a kitten.she'd SO unique and seems really smart."
We took her home to our one bedroom apartment in hot Stockton California you remember, don't you, the one with the hardwood floors and no air conditioning. Stockton, where it never rains from April until October and there is nothing but blue skies. No clouds, not ever., never. And HOT, did I mention the summer it was 114 at 4PM daily for a week in the shade? Or the time my sister and I fried an egg on the blacktop?
Well, Fu-Fu was quite the kitty. We fed her on the utility sink after placing a piece of ply wood on top of it. I'd never had a female cat before and had just decided she was gaining too much weight , diet time.
She was having trouble jumping up on the utility tub to get her food, when it occurred to me that maybe she was "with kittens". That began the process of scrambling around to see what the gestation period was for cats. 62 days. She must have been in heat and gotten out and the owners took her immediately to the Humane Society. We had adopted her 60 days prior to that. Pretty soon it became very evident that SOMETHING was happening.
"Yowl, rorow.. meow.",was what she was saying as she moved around the kitchen in a very uncomfortable pose.
Pretty soon she dropped a little bundle in the middle of the linoleum floor. Did I mention this was a very old apartment? The tiny package was totally wrapped in the placenta. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am also an RN.
By that time, I knew the kitten would die if Mama Fu-Fu didn't chew off the band of placenta, quickly. Well, my roommate decided it was probably time for us to go to the Laundromat so I would live through this delivery.
When we came back 1 hours later Mama Fu-Fu had delivered 3 pretty huge kittens. She had moved them into the back corner of the hall closet, totally ignoring the box with its towel lining we had fixed for her. She was no dummy, it was HOT and the hall closet at least had a cooler corner.
"Look at those little guys, nursing and purring and kneading"
It was awhile before we could touch them as Fu-Fu was pretty protective. Several weeks later we noticed that the kittens were nursing only on one side and the other side was getting red and inflamed.
It was time for a vet to see our girl. The vet wasn't in and his assistant recommended using hot packs with Camphenique and warm water to ease the discomfort. We did this (hot packs on a cat? It was quite a sight to see, believe me) for several days and she seemed even more miserable. Her ears were hot and the thermometer said 104. Yes, poor Foof had to put up with that indignity too.
We were trying to wean the kittens (at the suggestion of the vet's assistant). Fu-Fu got so creative at trying to get to those little orange boys she even learned how to open a heavy sliding wood door.
I did some reading and discovered phenol was lethal to cats. That was a major ingredient in Camphophenique.
"I think it is time to see another vet and write a letter."
I composed a letter to the vet telling him that the sign of a good professional is to look things up and not suggest things with lethal ingredients in them. We never received a bill from that vet.
We took Fu-Fu to a vet who had to give her a shot to bring her temp down. He said it was a good thing the kittens weren't nursing because as small as they were the phenol could have gotten to them really fast.
Finally Fu-Fu's mastitis subsided and she began being perky again. We found a home for all 3 of her boys.
Old Foof was spayed and lived a happy life until she was 15 and went into kidney failure. She was a wonderful cat who went outside with a harness and leash on (we walked when it cooled down almost every night.
I remember well one day when a neighbor lady went by walking a German Shepherd on a leash and Fu-Fu ran knocking open the screen door and chased the dog, with the lady attached to the leash for over a block until I could catch her and intervene.
Yes, old tortie Fu-Fu can still bring a smile to my face.
See "Sketch of Muffy" for another glimpse of this wonderful kitty.
My blog is: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.
Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news
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