Monday, September 29, 2008

Merlin the Kitten

This is Merlin a few weeks after being rescued...

He was rescued from the gutter (for real) when he was about 4 weeks old. He should have weighed at least one pound but he only weighed 9 ounces. He had over 100 fleas and was too weak to swallow kitten formula dripped into his mouth. He could barely lift his head and had lost his meow, probably from crying for help for a very, very long time. He was having trouble breathing and was breathing through his mouth.

I gave him a subcutaneous infusion of fluid and bathed him to rid him of the fleas and the water turned red with his blood. After three hours of no improvement, I took him to the emergency pet hospital. He had been attacked by so many fleas that he was severely anemic. He barely had enough red blood cells in his body to carry enough oxygen to sustain life. He stayed the night in the hospital and received an immediate blood transfusion. He is the "Six Hundred Dollar Man-Cat."

Throughout the next day, he improved every few hours. By the end of the day he was vigorously sucking down kitten formula. By the end of the second day, he could walk. He gained about one ounce per day for a week, finally hitting the one pound mark. He continued to gain for another 5 days, putting on some fat. Suddenly, he slept for nearly 12 hours straight and when he woke up he was taller! He now had enough reserves to grow. Over a month later, he got his meow back. It didn't come suddenly, but little by little and it's still getting stronger.

In all of these pictures, Merlin weighed what Gwyneth Rose weighed at birth. Gwyneth was born 15+ weeks early. You can see his size when compared to a full-grown Sam. Can you imagine a little human baby the size of a 6 week old kitten?

This is Merlin playing with Mischa, a four month old kitten I rescued after he tried jumping head-first through a chainlink fence. Thankfully, he didn't hang himself. He now lives with a nice family all his own.

And this is Merlin with my Velvet. Velvet is full grown and is average in size, but a little stocky. Not to be mistaken with overweight. She's just as stocky as my Sammy is lithe.

Merlin is now over 2 1/2 pounds and will be getting neutered soon and adopted to a new home. He does have a strange thing going on, his all black fur has slowly been turning white. At first, just at the base of his tail, then up his back in two stripes like a skunk, and now the only all black part he has is the top of his head and his ears. I'll be consulting a vet this week because it's very strange, though otherwise he seems perfectly healthy.

And that is the story of Merlin and how he survived and is turning from a black cat into a white one.

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