EWN Article 08/07/10: The Joy Of Fostering

This article was published in the Euro Weekly News Today. This one is all about Fleur, my little injured foster kitten.

At the time of writing this article, I am sitting at my desk in a slight mental haze, having definitely not had enough sleep over the past 10 days. Chris and I are sleep deprived, our house is in slight chaos, we are woken up at 6am every morning, are unable to leave the house together, and have even discovered the dubious joy of night feeds. What is the cause of this disruption? Of course a baby, but not a baby human; the recent addition to our household is an absolutely adorable, injured baby kitten of 6 weeks.

I have titled this article ‘the joy of fostering’ because, although hard, this is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I also want to stress that normally kittens are not such hard work, and can be left in a safe environment to play together and enjoy themselves, whilst still being a joy. The reason we have such a commitment, is because little Fleur, had a completely snapped big femur bone in one of her back legs when I rescued her.

I was phoned by a lady who had just found Fleur, starving and afraid, alongside the remains of another kitten, in the walled garden of a property she rents out, and which had been empty. I managed to catch her quite easily, but she was very afraid and hissing. It was not until the next morning when Fleur (having decided I was not going to hurt her) rolled over to have her tummy ticked and started purring, that I knew how tame and really sweet she was.

I also knew that she had a problem with one of her legs, and vet Miguel confirmed by X-ray that she had a very bad break. In herself she seemed well, and was eating ravenously, so I decided to give her the chance of a healthy life, and an operation followed a few days later to pin her broken leg. It is this pin that is making fostering Fleur such a huge commitment and we are only just into week 2 of a 4 week healing process.

Miguel said that with the pin giving support and keeping her bones aligned, she could lead a ‘normal’ life whilst her leg healed. The problem is that if she runs and jumps, the pin slowly slips out of her leg, and can only be allowed to move so far. We are having to watch her all the time, try to amuse her in less energetic ways, and even then gently push her pin back in around 10 times a day. At night we put her into quite a small, restrictive box to sleep, which she doesn’t like, hence our early mornings and the night feeds.

In herself, Fleur is better every day. 10 days of good food, safety and love have restored her energy and confidence. She now seems to trust Chris and I completely and is desperate to make friends with our big cats. It never ceases to amaze me how resilient starving little kittens are, and how quickly they rally. It also never ceases to amaze me how cruel people can be to animals. From what I have told him and her injury, Miguel agrees that she was probably thrown over the high wall into the garden where I found her. That was her bad luck. Her good luck was that she managed to escape whatever killed her sibling, and was found in time by a lady who knew about my work here with the strays.

I am very hopeful that Fleur will make a full recovery from her injuries, and even if she doesn’t she will be loved and cared for and have a good life. She is a survivor, and a very special little girl, and if anyone would like to follow her progress or make a donation to her treatment, please visit my blog: alstrays.com

Meanwhile we are being contacted almost daily, here and in Mojacar, about stray and abandoned kittens, it being the season. We are always happy to know about animals in trouble and will continue to help as many as we can. We do however desperately need more foster parents and funds, so please volunteer if you have time or resources. We would love to talk to you.

Sweet Little Fleur

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