"[Veterinary medicine] is a profession of the heart. It has nothing to do with mind-set or the economy; it's the heart that rules everything." Dr. Mark Russak, AAHA President.
Hello, followers. All ten of you :). I wanted to share a lovely story today [for once]. A story about new life, love, and the reason most veterinarians stay sane.
In the middle of the morning rush, a young man and his brother came in with a 6 month old kitten. She was a cute little thing with a very big belly. The owner had found her as a stray about a month before and decided to take her in. That morning, he had come home to find a squealing newborn kitten underneath his bed, placenta still attached. He brought both mom and baby to the clinic.
As we warmed the baby kitten, and I examined the mother (still a baby herself - it was like an episode of 16 and Pregnant in here) we talked about potential scenarios. This could be the only kitten (unlikely), the other kittens could be alive and well, they could be dead, one could be stuck, she might need surgery, she might not accept the kittens, he might have to nurse them all around the clock or find someone else to, etc etc. To my surprise, this guy really wanted everything to work out for the best and he seemed committed to making it happen. Of course, the next part was up to mom.
We happened to have our radiologist here with her ultrasound, and so we got to do a little sonogram on mom kitten. And sure enough, we saw a couple of little beating hearts in that tummy. We took radiographs, and there were 4 more little babies waiting to enter this world.
I recommended leaving mom kitten with us for the day so we could get the kittens to nurse and help them if necessary. We held mom still and encouraged the first born to nurse. She did, and then the magic light bulb went off in mom-kittens brain (Oh! That's what happened? Give me that baby!) And she began to clean it and wrap herself around it.
I put some food in her cage and she gobbled up every bit, and then soon enough, another kitten was born, then another, then two more. All were born healthy, and began to nurse soon after birth.
When it was time for the little family to go home, all were cleaned, warm, fed and happy. Once they left, we all stared at the empty cage and became sad that we would no longer hear their cute little cries or get that warm fuzzy feeling watching mom take care of her babies.
The next day I called to check on the kittens. All were doing well and mom was nursing and taking care of them. And, the owner had already found homes for several of the kittens.
Not only did everything work out the best way it could have, but it put everyone in a great mood. Its these kind of cases that keep us going.