Piglet's first year is a story about “almosts.” In fact her story was almost over before it had a chance to begin. One year ago today, Piglet's very young mother, Winnie, began contractions. It was her first litter so there was a lot of concern about how she'd handle being a mother. Our intrepid foster mom, Moe, was there watching and ready to help, but the first kitten born showed no signs of life. Perhaps being less than a year old, herself and very likely inbred, what chance did Winnie's offspring have to survive?
©2014 Kitten Associates. (thanks to foster mom, Moe). Almost didn't make it. Our first glimpse of Piglet.
Sadly, the second kitten arrived was also stillborn. Winnie continued to pant, another kitten was going to be born. She was restless and upset. Were we to lose this one, too?
©2014 Kitten Associates. (thanks to foster mom, Moe). After all the heartbreak, Winnie finally begins to relax as she rests on rice filled socks that are nice and warm from being microwaved.
The last kitten arrived; a tiny, white creature only half the size she should be. Her siblings had been much bigger, yet she was the one who was who survived. In honor of her Mother, Winnie and siblings who were named Eeyore and Tigger; the sole survivor was named Piglet. (though at the time we though SHE was a HE.) Piglet was barely the size of a lip balm.
©2014 Kitten Associates. (thanks to foster mom, Moe). Grandma will never give up on little Piglet.
The thing that scares most rescuers is what might happen next. Would Winnie care for her kitten? If not, what would become of this fragile creature?
Piglet definitely had a furry Guardian Angel looking out for her. Her name was Laney. Laney was Winnie's mother and Laney was also pregnant. Being family we had them all in the same room. I'd never known if it was safe to have two mamas together and now we'd find out if it was a good idea or not.
©2014 Kitten Associates. (thanks to foster mom, Moe). A wonderful portrait of Winnie and Piglet.
From what Moe told me I believe that Winnie was distraught from losing her kittens. She didn't want to care for Piglet and perhaps maybe she knew something was terribly wrong with her and that she wasn't going to make it, either. The next day was going to be key. If Winnie didn't step up, Piglet would surely die.
But Laney stepped in. Laney was close to giving birth, herself, and it was Laney who began to care for Piglet; cleaning her and feeding her while Winnie mourned. Laney was so attached to Piglet that even as she began to give birth a week later, Laney HAD to be near Piglet to comfort her while she herself was in labor.
©2014 Kitten Associates. (thanks to foster mom, Moe). Now we see what an elegant your lady she's turning out to be.
After some time Winnie began to care for her kitten, too. Now Piglet had two mothers and was gaining weight, though still tiny compared to her new nephews and nieces who were a week younger than she was. It didn't stop Piglet. No matter what size she was, she was part of one very big family.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. With Jelly Belly, who is easily twice her size.
Piglet began to thrive and we could finally stop worrying about her, though we did put off spaying her until she was much bigger, just to be on the safe side. All that had to happen now was for Piglet and family to come north to my home, but the problem was I just couldn't seem to do enough adoptions to make room for them fast enough so they were stuck in limbo in Georgia—which also meant their kittenhood and most adoptable age was going to pass by and I couldn't do a thing about it.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Growing up fast.
In March the family finally arrived. I figured Piglet would be adopted quickly, but I didn't want the others to be ignored so I put them up for adoption first. I'll go into more detail in my next post about her family, but let's just say there are a lot of them and they aren't flame point siamese mix cats who can get adopted quickly.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Running the humidifier helped Piglet overcome her illness. Thankfully, she often sat right next to it to get the most benefit of the moist air.
But with in a few days of arriving it was clear that Piglet and her family was quite sick. It was a nightmare for a few weeks and Piglet was hit the hardest. She had a number of vet visits because we'd always been a lot more careful with her. Her other family members were easily twice her size and though sick, were not nearly as ill as she was.
Once again I worried that Piglet was going to die- this time if her upper respiratory tract infection turned into pneumonia. Thankfully, with a lot of TLC she began to regain her health.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Not feeling well, Piglet goes to Grandma and Mama for comfort.
I finally decided to put Piglet up for adoption and, no surprise, I got a lot of applications for her. The problem was, most of them were from adopters who were too far out of state for me to do a home visit and I just couldn't let her go without knowing her home was right for her.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Game for Cats is all that!
Then one Thursday I got an application that looked very promising. I began to follow up with the adopter and that became our next "almost." The almost time when Piglet found her forever home.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Piglet and proud mama, Winnie.
The adopter, let's just say, pulled the wool over my eyes. The adoption turned into a nightmare and I wrote a 3700 word rant about what happened. I don't dare post it here because I fear backlash, but the person was definitely mentally ill, a poser who pretended she knew about cats and who, in the end, treated Piglet like a sweater that just wasn't the right shade of blue after all.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. I love my mama, 4ever.
She never took responsibility for her actions, only tried to palm off every little problem on being my fault or the world's fault or Google Maps fault for not displaying the name of a road that has been a major artery from CT to NY for over 100 years (and it IS on the map). I never met someone who lied with such conviction. Piglet had a “home” for 10 days and when she returned she just wasn't the same.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Perhaps Piglet isn't too fond of another cat (Fluff Daddy) wearing the same outfit that she does.
It took Piglet a long time to recover from the stress of her failed adoption. I was glad to have her home and so was her family. They accepted her back right away and I know that made a big difference in her recovery. It was then I realized that I could never let Piglet go unless she was adopted with her mom or with her grandma-Laney. I knew it would make her adoption a lot harder, but I had to do what was right for Piglet.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Recovering from the turmoil of her failed adoption, Piglet finally relaxes.
Last month I thought Piglet and Winnie were going to be adopted, at last! I really liked the couple, but then I got sick. Between doctors visits, tests and flat out feeling lousy, I couldn't get my act together to get the adoption done. The other issue was that this couple wanted a pair who would be fine in the car since they took annual trips to Florida and I couldn't see Piglet handling that very well.
In the end, it worked out for the best. The couple adopted a pair of much younger cats who they can take for practice runs in the car. They were really nice guys and I know they'll be happier with their choice, but sadly that leaves me with Piglet still waiting to find her forever home.
©2015 Robin A.F. Olson. Happy First Birthday, sweet Piglet.
For a cat who almost didn't make it past her first day of life, to a cat who almost died from being sick and who almost found, but lost her forever home, I'm hoping the last almost is that it's almost time for her true family to find her.
If you'd like to read more about Piglet's life you can check out these stories:
The Neglected Kittens. Ch 1. This Miserable Life.
Birth, Death and Everything in Between
The Neglected. Love Is. Ch 2.
Let it Ride.