One of A Kind Education
The “Beer Box Babies”
Saturday evening a staff member exited our back employee door at 5:45 to find a box that appeared to be garbage. It was a Miller beer case that would normally hold 30 cans. Upon further inspection, she found the tiniest, fuzziest, kittens all squirming around within the box. There was also a note attached that read, “Sorry, my dad wanted to drown the kittens because they got fleas and dad said we can’t feed them all.” Collectively, our hearts sank, and the wave of emotions began.
First and foremost, we were relieved that this child turned to us when there was nowhere else to turn. Though we were already at capacity, and all our fosters were already caring for bottle-feed babies, we immediately sprang into action and began assessing these tiny babies. How many are there? Are they all alive? How long have they been outside? What are their body temperatures? When did they last eat? How bad are the fleas? There were sixteen babies found in the beer box. All were alive and all had fleas. Are they anemic from the fleas? The cat manager determined that there were at least three different litters ranging in age 2.5 weeks to four weeks. All would need to be bottle fed every two hours.
For those who may not be familiar with bottle feeding infant kittens, it is quite the undertaking. First, the kittens do not have the warmth of a mother’s body to maintain their body temperatures, so a heating pad (that doesn’t turn off automatically) must be kept at a safe, consistent temperature at all times. The babies must be fed every two hours to maintain optimal health, energy, body weight, and warmth. They also require stimulation to potty, as their digestive systems do no function independently yet. They must be checked regularly, as they will sometimes begin to nurse off of each other, causing additional health concerns.
All sixteen babies were placed with fosters (mostly staff members) and we scrambled to purchase enough formula, nipples, and baby wipes to get through the next day or two. We often think of the child who brought these kittens to us; the desperation that must have been felt while grabbing the nearest thing that would hold sixteen babies. We so wish that we could help further by spaying the momma cats to prevent future litters. We would like to praise the adolescent for having the heart to not only do the right thing, but also leaving an apology in the note. This young person already appreciates the value of life and has the integrity to do the right thing.
Two Convenient Locations
1929 W. Market St.
Akron, OH 44313
(behind Walgreen's and AutoZone)
Spay & Neuter Clinic
1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
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