Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

Animal Hospital

Sandy posted about this website that is raising money for 2 abandoned kittens. I didn't really bother reading the details on the site, I just instantly didn't believe it and took it for a scam. Maybe I'm wrong.

It reminded me that I myself have hand-raised a kitten that had been abandoned. It was just after i arrived in Montreal, i was out at my girlfriends place in a village near Sorel. We were in the back yard and we heard a constant mewing coming from the wood pile. After about 10 minutes of digging, we finally discovered a very bedraggled little kitten that had obviously fallen in between the wood chunks and gotten itself trapped. The mother had then abandoned it.

The problem is that whilst it was wedged, it had continued to grow, it must only have been a week or so old, and unfortunately the space was so confined that it's jaw had grown squint - so that when it tried to shut its mouth, the lower part would be totally outside the upper. Anyway, Steph immediately takes it inside, tries to feed it some milk, without success. A phonecall and a trip to the vet and we get the recipe for a milk substitute (basically milk and corn syrup) and a bottle with instructions to feed her every four hours.

So every four hours we wrap her up in a blanket to stop her clawing us to pieces as we bottle feed her. (You may have noticed it has now become she, we named her Notre Dame (after the hunchback)). Of course, she was so young that she was also incapable of going to the toilet herself, which meant we had to mimic the mother cat's tongue-licking using a wet paper towel.

She grew quickly and her jaw straightened out remarkably well, and in the end she was a perfectly healthy little kitten. It was my first taste of sleep deprivation though. She still needed to be fed every 4 hours, which meant feeding her before we went to bed and then getting up at 4am and feeding her again. We were supposed to take turns, but I swear Steph never once got out of bed to do it.

Eventually she got to the stage where she could use a litter and eat from a bowl and so life eased - she tended to want to start fights in the middle of the night though and would always claw at you through the sheets, and interrupt at times when you least wanted a third, feline, presence. In the end though we had to give her away as our room-mates didn't want a cat in the house.

I wonder how she's doing now....