Giving Your All to Save a Life

Tearsa Smesny, Texas, United States

To live, breathe, and sleep very little while caring for rescued critical care kittens is what I do and who I am as a foster in my hometown of Baytown, Texas. When kittens are rescued from a high-kill shelter, you don’t know if you can save these wee ones.

Three weeks ago, a little black-and-white male kitten named Sugarfoot was lucky enough to be placed into foster care. Unfortunately, he and another kitten (they are unrelated) came down with a cold. Fast forward one week, and both had upper respiratory infections. They were pulled from their foster and placed into my care. Treatment began with antibiotics, subcutaneous fluids, force feeding, etc. It was round the clock for the first few days, as he just wasn’t responding well. There was a change in antibiotics, and several more days later we were using a cool mist atomizer with Vicks. It seemed to be helping some. But when we were a week into critical care, it was decided he was not recovering as he should. B-12 and penicillin were given, and the kitten seemed to have a bit more energy.

On day nine, his breathing was very labored and he had no appetite. I decided we needed to give him breathing treatments. I called several fosters and our program director looking for a nebulizer and albuterol. I located albuterol, but there was no nebulizer to be found. Permission was granted to locate a vet who gives breathing treatments. Three phone calls later, we had an appointment. So there Sugarfoot and I went, albuterol in tow. The breathing treatment was a success. It was such a simple breathing box that I knew we could make our own. On day 10, my nebulizer purchased online arrives, and I created my breathing treatment box.

Well here we are, 12 days later and sweet Sugarfoot has eaten on his own for the very first time in over 12 days.

I’m blessed to have had a mother who loved animals as my mentor growing up. This is what being a foster is about. Giving your all to save a life.