Archimedes has recovered completely and he is on his way to weigh as much as his siblings. He eats a lot and runs and plays. He has been an active healthy kitten again, for about a week now.
But, some ten days ago his condition was nothing like that. We force-fed him by mouth, making him swallow, although he did not want to do that. He was very weak, had no apetite, and he was going down in weight. We went every day with him to veterinary Buba to give him some saline and extra vitamines under his skin, so that his little organs would not suffer; we fed him with raw minced veal (it turned out he liked that even when very very sick and refusing everything else. He refused that, too, but his protests were weaker). We also fed him A/D from Hill’s, Smetana (lactose-free cream, 40% fat), German canned chicken for kittens… anything we managed to get him to swallow felt like a huge victory on his way to be healthy again.
Over the weekends our vet’s clinic is closed, so we went to one of the animal hospitals in Stockholm, Bagarmossen, where they gave the little one saline injections. Leroy followed every time, and he was such a good cat-sitter; Archimedes always felt so safe with his grandfather.
We kept informing Archimedes’ future owners about what was going on. We did not want to make a lot of drama out of it, but the facts were that the little one did not feel well; the symptoms were mild at start, but he felt worse soon, and in spite of all the help, there was a risk that he might die.
I am convinced that not leaving him in the hospital when he felt his worst was the best decision we made. They said they had never put a feeding tube in such a small kitten (9 weeks old), and they could try to feed him intravenously, but that might cause him additional health problems (liquid in his lungs etc). I imagined him alone, with all the IV lines in his little paws, no mommy, no Jocke or Jelena, no siblings, no Leroy by his side…
I believe that love and force-feeding can do wonders. So we decided to take him home, and, on our request, he got additional liquid under his skin for several more days. We went to the clinic over the weekend, and back to Buba from Monday.
Jocke was in tears one night, lying next to Archimedes, he was not sure that the kitten would make it. It looked bad.
I honestly do not remember thinking that at any point. I thought that the kitten was very healthy and grew well from the birth, and when he got sick after he received his first vaccine, we had to maintain his body mass as much as we could, until he would get his fever down (the first priority), and then gained his appetite back.
We noticed that the kitten was trembling at the start of his illness, so we put a light blanket on him and kept him warm, to spare his energy. When his siblings were sleeping, we put him in the middle of the Siamese pile, so that he had contact with his brothers and sister, and his mom, of course. Jossan never treated him differently, which gave us hope; cats often abandon gravely sick kittens and dedicate all of their energy to the others.
Archimedes recovered. This is a card we got from his future owners when he got sick. Misty, their 11 months old Cornish Rex is on the picture. They were here yesterday to visit the small one and pet him some extra. Heartwarming! Isn’t Misty adorable?! :*
Archimedes weighs 1150 gr today. He weighed 840 gr just two weeks ago, when his condition rapidly worsened, two days after the vaccination. He is getting his second vaccine on Tuesday, this time another kind, containing dead viruses (although – not the living viruses, but rather the additives in Nobivac Tricat were problematic the first time. We do not know for sure, but in the future, we will choose another manufacturer and the type of the vaccine for our kittens).
Don’t give up. Love and care can do wonders. I never had doubts that he would recover. I was terrified, but I believed he would. Our little fighter. :* (On the picture bellow, taken 6 days ago, Archimedes is playing with Jossan’s tail).