What can I say? It's been a wicked month. I decided to take a bit of a design hiatus and begin pursuing other passions that I seem to only have time for during the summer.
My garden went off like a shot! There's something about my soil that squash and pumpkins really seem to take to. The cucumbers, however, went down in flames (which is pretty disappointing because I really wanted to learn to can by starting with pickles.) I learned you can take roughly 5 million pounds of cherry tomatoes and roast them in the oven to make homemade marinara sauce. The recipes I found didn't lend themselves to canning, so instead I put them in the gigantic freezer in the garage. Dan was able to do a little wheeling and dealing with a hand-me-down tool we received that we would never use.
We've done a LOT of work on the laundry room. I actually have TWO pantries now. Count them: two. One. Two. Well, I actually had two before, but now they are located next to one another. Progress!
On a different note, I decided to become a foster for the local animal rescue. Because it was my summer vacation, I requested cases where animals (kitties specifically) either needed more care because I would be around to provide it, or ones that needed to decompress because we have a large, unused bedroom. For nearly the entire summer I heard nothing - they said cases like this come in spurts and it's not uncommon to see very few for a while. Two days before I was slated to return to work, I received a text from one of the head volunteers at about 10:30 PM. She said a woman was looking to give up 4 newborn (seriously, one day old newborn) kittens who hadn't eaten since they day they were born. She kept them outside in a tub. I found out later, they were kept outside exposed to the rain as well. I said of course I would take them! We met in the parking lot of a local grocery store. We did the pass off and I quickly got them home.
To say the kittens weren't in good health was an understatement. It was immediately brought to my attention that every single one had maggot eggs nested in their fur. Everyone in the house got to work quickly. Some to get the bedding and heating pad ready, some to get fresh wash clothes and towels, some to mix up the kitten formula and ready a bottle, and some (me) to wash and comb the maggots and eggs out bit by bit. One was bleeding from the bottom and had maggots swimming in her ears and coming out of two puncture wounds in her chest. She also had what looked like roundworms coming out of her anus. I kept in touch with my contact constantly. I updated her on each health issue, emphasizing that for at least one kitten, a visit to the emergency vet was mandatory. My contact hemmed and hawed, saying we needed to see if it was even possible for them to survive the night. They did.
We stayed up all night, feeding and cleaning them. The next morning I texted her again, emphasizing that at least one needed to see the emergency vet. With non-profits, apparently it's not as easy to get funding "RIGHT NOW!" You need permission from a board of people. Working her magic, she got everyone together to give the okay to bring the kitten to the emergency vet. The prognosis was grim. The staff didn't know what was wrong, but she was most certainly on her way out the door and in tremendous pain and discomfort. No animal or person deserves to live like that. I gave the okay to put her down. The tech asked if I wanted to be there when he did it. I said yes, and softly stroked her fur while he injected her belly for euthanization. It wasn't quick like I thought it would be. She continued to breathe slower and slower, her breath becoming more ragged. She finally let go. The tech came back into the room, took her body, and ushered me quickly out the door. Seemingly, there is less time to comfort the human left behind when other emergencies are happening in the back.
I left feeling devastated for that baby and cried in the parking lot. I needed to get it out before driving home so I didn't cause an accident. Once home, we checked the others. They were eating well, purring, warm, and all using the bathroom. Things seemed like they were going to be okay.
Through a series of back and forth, I let the volunteer know what happened as well as letting her know I would be going back to work. We needed to find another foster who would be home enough to feed them - every 2-3 hours. Through her connections, she found a woman who could take them that day. It sounded ideal until the woman texted me to say she and her daughter had to go to the hospital because her daughter was stung by a bee and was severely allergic. We waited...and waited....and waited. Between 10 and 11 PM, she let us know she couldn't accept them. Someone else had dropped off sick kittens on her porch. She gave me another lead, a young woman who operated a mini shelter in her own home. I called her to chat and see if she'd be a good match. She had animal/medical experience, had cared for neonates previously, and had the space to accept them. It's the best I could've hoped for. We drove over an hour away to meet her and give her the babies to care for.
I've texted her everyday since putting the babies under her care. Two more needed to be put down because of sickness. There's only one left and she's struggling to stay alive. She has a respiratory infection that is going to be tricky for her to survive. I've thought about them everyday - it makes me so sad knowing that their lives didn't have to begin, nor end, that way. But society has a long way to go when it comes to the respect for life.
This is a space separate of my house blog. Here is where you'll find a little bit of everything. I'll try to avoid vapid posts - but no promises.