We recently brought in our first batch of slightly sick kittens. While D’Arcy and I volunteer a lot of our time at the Lexington Humane Society, we have also been visiting and fostering for the Woodford Humane Society as well (both very well run/great organizations). Pistachio and Hazelnut (the Woodford Humane Society always has a theme to naming the mother and her litter. Mother’s name was Pecan) arrived with some upper respiratory infections. Poor little guys where sneezing and sniffling the minute they arrived in the ‘foster room’ (otherwise known as the extra bedroom). This brought about a new set of concerns for us. 1) We wanted to give them a chance to get healthy… not only to get them away from other cats/kittens that have stronger immune systems and probably gave them the infection but to also add some weight to them. Due to their condition, they were a little thin (hardly over a pound at 6 weeks). 2) We have our own cats and have to really make sure to keep the URI’s contained. This brought about a new feature to our foster area: The locker room. It was there we humans had to change from our daily wear to our ‘sick-kitten uniforms’ (not unlike any scene from the films ’12 Monkeys’ or ‘Silkwood’ when dealing with precautions of a contaminated earth or plutonium plant respectively).
It was a very minor inconvenience but one that involved speed and agility. See, once you enter the foster room, you become the only focus of the inhabitants. Sure, there’s a baby gate just outside the door’s full range of motion but one has only seconds to slap on the designated cat-snot clothing before the gate was scaled and playtime ensued.
What I don’t understand was how D’Arcy became the preferred human to cuddle with and I was the staging area for all sneezes. Pistachio loved to crawl up on my shoulders and relax. I had mere moments to find a comfortable spot before she worked her way up my leg, arms and neck to the final destination. It took no more than an average of 10 seconds before she would sneeze right in my ear or head (leaving whatever proof behind), then settle back to rest. This occurred every time I was in there. Yet to D’Arcy, they would lay on her for hours with hardly a sound. Of course, I had a good laugh at my good fortunes there.
The good news is they got healthy, got up to a good weight and were adopted within a week of returning to the Woodford Humane Society. We’re getting used to having the slight sorrow of seeing our temporary guests leave but they returned to a good people at WHS and were adopted a week later.
And yes, I had to use a sandblaster to clean the room after they left.