On April 11th a little smoke British Short Hair kitten from Hi Crown Cattery came into the hospital, he was only about 2 weeks old. This kitten that later became known as Captain Krinkles had an unfortunate accident which ruptured the globe of his right eye. It is thought that a claw from one of his siblings was the culprit but we will never know for sure. The pain associated with jostling around with his brothers and sisters meant that Krinkles wasn’t getting adequate milk from his mother and his eye socket became swollen and infected. As a result he was much smaller than his littermates.
Krinkles could no longer stay with his family and would have to be medically managed until he was big enough to have corrective surgery to close the eye.
This meant he was going to have to be treated as if he was an orphan. Orphans at this age need bottle feeding every 2-3 hours, assistance with urination and defecation and making sure they are kept warm enough. The biggest concern with orphan cats especially single’s is they can end out with a lot of behavior problems because mom and other siblings aren’t around to teach and socialize them. This can lead to sudden unexplained bouts of severe aggression.
For his “eye” Krinkles would also need to start on oral antibiotics, two different types of eye drops, pain medication, and a probiotic.
His breeder who had the rest of his brothers and sisters to treat for diarrhea was unable to provide the kitten with this intensive care or handle the costs that would be involved so was having to consider other options for him.
Our Technologist couldn’t bare to do anything drastic with him so after a call to the technologist’s family member with the excuse that it was her birthday soon and what a wonderful present saving a life would be little Krinkle found his new chance. He earned his name because of his crinkly coat.
He took to the bottle feeding right away like a champ and doubled his weight within the first week. Since he had to be fed so frequently he spent his days at the clinic curled up in a blue bin with heating disks where all the staff took turns spoiling him rotten. This handling from multiple people and the frequent travel also helps with the socialization that he wasn’t receiving anymore from his feline family. Technicians; Rebecca and Angie both have experience with orphans so were able to give newer staff members a quick crash course on how to behave like a surrogate mom’s for young impressionable kittens.
Giving Captain Krinkles the eye drops however were another story. The poor little guy thought it was torture but we persevered for his own good and the infection soon was resolved and quickly became less painful.
The effects of replacement milk and two different types of internal parasites (more on parasites and the importance of deworming kittens will be in another tail) caused a fluctuation between constipation and diarrhea.
The “missing” eye initially caused a drastic change in Krinkles learning curve since his depth perception was so off. This meant making sure when he was learning to jump things, they were low because he would often miss. He learned quickly that he found large toys more favorable to the smaller ones you normally get for cats and kittens. His favorites were the dog’s ball and a stuffed pig webkinz.
His previous owner has checked in several times to see how he’s doing and his littermates have had several visits to the clinic. They ended out battling the same parasite problems that he did. He’s now the biggest in the “litter” weighing in at almost twice the size of the largest.
At 8 weeks old Krinkles is now eating on his own, all his gastrointestinal problems seem to be gone, he’s off most of his medications and he is out and about with the other 6 cats in the home…but his best buddy still remains the dog he was isolated with for the first three weeks. He will need all the care that a normal kitten needs in 6 – 8 months as well as surgery on his eye when he’s neutered but he has adapted so well to his handicap that you can hardly tell there are any problems.
We are very proud of his many achievements and can’t wait to see how his next adventures unfold.
Written by Angelina Johnstone RVT