By Nancy Allen
Working at the Madison Pet Clinic with Dr. Richard Hanschu
I worked about 1000 hours there from 1979-1981
Many years ago, I was doing volunteer work at the Madison Pet Clinic in Bartlesville, OK with Dr. Richard Hanschu. A lady had brought her cat in for a spay and when it was time for the procedure, Dr. Hanschu and I were aghast to see that the patient was very pregnant. Her name was Puddin. As the vet had already agreed to the procedure, he went on and cut her open for the spay and when the babies came out I begged him to let me keep them since the client didnít want them. There were 5 of them in their amniotic sacs. He quickly tore the sacs open and got the kitties out. We dried the teeny babies off. That was April 24, 1980.
My thought was to immediately get the kittens warm. I suggested to Polly the receptionist that we put them in our shirts next to our bodies for warmth. It was an interesting day. When clients came in they saw 5 tiny kitten heads sticking out of the top of our shirts. No doubt, that was a rather unusual and unexpected thing for folks to observe. Several of them commented on it.
Feeding Baby Tiger
We let the babies nurse a little while on their mother to give them some antibodies. We hoped it didn't traumatize the mother though, to then have to take them away. It is hard to know what to do sometimes. I took the kittens home the same day they were born. Despite my hard work and the vetís help after several days 4 of them passed away. I was very disappointed but I had one tiger stripe black and gray kitten left. I continued keeping him warm and feeding him with a tiny bottle and special kitten milk. That was every 3 or 4 hours around the clock. I had to stimulate him to go to the bathroom with a small wet tissue. It was a demanding, but rewarding job. I named him Tiger and he was my very first of many cats.
Mitzi Checking Out Tiger and 2 of the Baby Kitties
I was concerned about my dogs, one in particular that didnít like cats. I got the great idea to show Fluffy, an American Eskimo Spitz, the super tiny kitten every day almost from the day of his birth so he could get used to him. It worked. From then on Fluffy liked Tiger and other cats as well. That was a bit of a surprise and very good luck. Before that Fluffy barked a lot at cats. Mitzi my other Spitz really liked him as soon as she saw him. Tiger was a smart kitten and was litter box trained at a very early age.
Mitzi Watching Baby Tiger, Her New Little Friend
I believe God used me to be Tiger's human Guardian Angel to rescue him from certain death. I wish I could have saved his litter mates too. I did my very best. With that experience, I had a new respect for mother cats and all the hard work they do to raise their young. It is a really tough job. It is hard for a human to fill in for a mother cat and do all the things they do. If you don't believe that, you should try it some time.
Tiger all grown up and relaxing in the kitchen
Tiger lived many happy years as my special first cat. He was such a sweet boy.
He got sick and passed away September 8, 1991. He is really missed.