Ark Animal Sanctuary (week of September 26, 2018)

HOULTON, Maine — A few weeks ago we received a phone call about a newborn kitten that had been found at one of the local businesses. We were asked if we could help. We told them to bring the kitten to us right away.

When the kitten arrived it still had it’s umbilical cord and was so tiny.  We knew that it’s chances of survival without a nursing mom were not very good. We got everything lined up and began the task of a surrogate mom which meant feeding every two to three hours. The milk replacer was  measured out so as not to over feed this poor tiny baby. Everything went really well for the first week although we were a bit tired, the kitten seemed to be thriving.

Then we had cause for worry the kitten became constipated which could easily kill a kitten that size.  We tried everything but nothing seemed to be working. Off to the vet we went where they tried, but without much success. However, we were told this sweet little baby was in good shape. This lifted our spirits a little and then later that night the flood gates opened up and the problem was solved. I should tell you that the kitten was so tiny it was hard to tell if it was a male or a female.  We thought it was a male and named it Simba.

Simba’s luck was about to change, we found a nursing mom that happily took on Simba as her own, she already had 7 of her own she was nursing, which was a concern, but we needed to try. Simba continued to thrive in the next week.  During that time we took in a mom and her five kittens who were just weaned from her. This meant mom had plenty of milk so Simba was brought back to The Ark and placed with Snowball who accepted him immediately. Snowball is a pure white beauty with blue eyes and Simba is a tiny little tiger who looks nothing like her.  They are certainly an odd couple but they have an unbelievable bond. Simba is now 6 weeks old and it is time for her to be taken from Snowball so she can get adopted in the upcoming weeks. The first day was a little bumpy. They both cried, so now we are going to separate them for a few hours a day to ease the transition.

It is funny Snowball seems more attached to Simba than she was her other five kittens. Simba is very tiny for her age and I don’t think she is ever going to big a big girl. Yes you heard me right Simba is a little girl not a boy. We have been known to be wrong about the gender a few times.

Simba has quite the story. How many kittens can say they have had four moms in the first six weeks of their life?  Simba had a birth mom, whom we have no idea what happened to, then she had her human mom for a week, then came foster mom number 1, and last but not least Snowball.

Not bad for a kitten found on the sidewalk.  We love happy endings!

We hope you will come join us for Strut your mutt and our open house on Oct. 20.  Strut your mutt begins at 10 a.m. at The Hollywood Pet Salon and we will be walking to the Sanctuary 2.5 miles. Pledge forms are available at The Hollywood Pet Salon and anyone bringing in $20 in pledges will receive a free t shirt. The open house will be  from 10-4. We have plenty of activities planned so stay tuned.

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.

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